The Jackson County Grand Jury returned 34 indictments last week, including indictments against a man accused of striking a bicyclist and leaving him for dead on West Virginia 21 and a man who sexually assaulted a disabled family member.
• John Wesley Hall, Ripley, was indicted on one count of leaving the scene of an accident, according to information provided by Jackson County Circuit Clerk Bruce DeWees.
Hall allegedly hit a man on a bicycle and drove away from the scene of the accident. The victim sustained six broken vertebrae, three broken ribs, and internal injuries.
“He was riding north on Route 21, and this car came up behind him and literally ran him over. It just completely trashed the front end of the vehicle, and the guy kept on going. He drove home and, ultimately, took the vehicle and hid it in a garage in Kanawha County,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger said. “He’s lucky to be alive.”
According to the Jackson County 911 Center, a call was received that an individual on a bicycle had been struck by a vehicle just south of Bibbee Ridge on West Virginia 21. The caller reported the vehicle had left the scene, according to a criminal complaint filed against Hall in Jackson County Magistrate Court.
Lt. T.T. Roberts along with Deputies C.R. Saltsgaver and B.A. DeWees responded to the accident scene along with Jackson County EMS and fire department personnel.
After thorough examination the crash site, Roberts and the other officers attempted to locate the vehicle.
A witness described the vehicle as a silver sport-utility vehicle. Deputies were able to cross reference part numbers from debris left at the scene to confirm the vehicle was a 2005 Jeep Liberty.
“We got the word out on social media, and his girlfriend saw it the next day and turned him in,” Mellinger said.
Hall told officers his girlfriend picked him up at his place of employment in Ripley and brought him to the Sheriff’s Department to report that Hall was the one who struck the individual on the bicycle the previous evening.
According to the criminal complaint, Hall told deputies that he left the Sissonville area sometime after dark and headed home. He got off Interstate 77 at Fairplain and went north towards Ripley. When he got to the top of South Hill, something struck the right front of his vehicle; he told investigators that he assumed it was a deer. Hall then went to his residence at 79 Aspen Ridge Road east of Ripley without stopping to check the damage or returning to the crash site to determine what he had struck.
At his residence, Hall noticed his passenger’s side front fender flare was missing, and there was damage to his turn signal and the fender well in the same area, according to the complaint.
Hall called his girlfriend to ask if he could borrow her truck because he had hit something on the way home that caused damage to his vehicle, and he did not want to drive it due to the blinker being nonoperational. Hall then drove back to Sissonville via U.S. 33 to I-77 at Ripley and put his vehicle in her garage, the complaint alleges.
Hall told investigators that he visited his son for about 25 minutes and then drove his girlfriend’s truck back to his house.
According to the complaint, Hall told the officers that he did not know that he had struck a person until Wednesday morning when his girlfriend called him at work and told him she had seen a news report about a bicyclist being struck just south of Bibbee Ridge on WV 21.
• Danny Alan Vorbach, Ripley, was indicted on one count of incest. Vorbach allegedly sexually assaulted a 70-year-old family member causing her to be hospitalized.
At the time of the incident, Vorbach lived with the alleged victim, who suffers from severe multiple sclerosis. The victim used a walker and was capable of caring for herself to some extent, according to a criminal complaint filed against Vorbach in Jackson County Magistrate Court. According to police, the victim is nonverbal, but communicates with hand gestures and nods or shakes of her head.
A call was placed to an adult protective services worker regarding the victim, who had been hospitalized supposedly due to a fall at her home.
According to the criminal complaint, the worker visited with the victim and her caregivers at the hospital. The caregivers stated they noticed bruises on the victim that were conducive to sexual misconduct. The victim confirmed their suspicions using hand gestures. She was able to communicate to them that Vorbach had sexual contact with her while she laid in the bathroom floor where she had fallen.
Capt. H.L. Faber of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Katie Franklin, who said she had received word from Kennad Skeen, the local attorney in charge of disbursement of the victim’s trust fund, that Vorbach had made threats towards him. It appeared Vorbach was upset that Skeen was not dispensing the trust account funds quickly enough for him. Skeen also expressed concern that Vorbach had recently possessed a sawed off shotgun.
After his discussion with Franklin and Skeen, Faber met with the adult protective service worker and each of the victim’s caregivers individually to take their statements. The caregivers reported that they had heard Vorbach make remarks to the victim regarding parts of her body.
One of the caregivers reported that Vorbach had a shotgun hanging from a coat rack in the home at one time, but had recently remarked that he had “Roscoe” in the trunk of his car. The caregiver also reported Vorbach had stated he would smother the victim with a pillow before allowing her to be placed in a nursing home.
The grand jury returned the following additional indictments:
• Kenneth R. Robinson, Leon, one count of failure to pay child support.
• Lacie Montoria Hawley, Ripley, one count of third-offense shoplifting and one count of delivering a controlled substance.
• Brandon Richards, Parkersburg, one count breaking and entering.
• Brittani D. Allen, Ripley, one count nighttime burglary.
• Kasey Andrew Conway, Washington, one count soliciting.
• Kenneth Lee Nickoson, Given, one count burglary.
• Darrell Lee Hicks, Ripley, one count manufacturing a controlled substance.
• Laura Jean Waldrop, Ripley, one count delivering a controlled substance.
• Katina Lynette Asbury, Sutton, one count delivering a controlled substance.
• Melissa Dawn Cranfield, Charleston, one count grand larceny.
• Rick Eugene Bouchere II, Ripley, one count grand larceny.
• Corey Jayde Riffle, Ravenswood, one count breaking and entering.
• Douglas Edward Harper, Indian Land, South Carolina, one count soliciting.
• Erica Kirker, Ravenswood, one count conspiracy to commit a felony.
• Timothy R. Shaffer, Charleston, one count of fleeing from an officer.
• Dustin Joseph Darlak, Ravenswood, one count grand larceny.
• Thomas Wilson Casto, Ripley, one count domestic battery, third offense.
• Antonio Smith, Ravenswood, one count escape.
• Cody Trevor Harris, Ravenswood, one count failure to register as a sexual predator.
• James Alan Park, Cottageville, one count sexual assault, second degree.
• Rodney Delano Garnes, Evans, one count manufacturing a controlled substance.
• Damien Jacob McDougal, Ripley, one count burglary.
• Bradley Burton Hickman, Mount Alto, one count burglary.
• Johnny Lee Frame, Parkersburg, one count of fleeing from an officer.
• Brian Harbison, Kenna, one count burglary.
• Myra Green, no address available, one count of child neglect resulting in injury.
• Adam Breslin, no address available, one count of sexual abuse, second degree.
• Kevin Cain, no address available, one count possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
• Bryan Collins, no address available, one count of shoplifting, third offense.
• Hali Flinn, no address available, one count of burglary.