STATE POLICE DENY WRONGDOING BY CPL. STARCHER - "Officers Actions Unconscionable"

(04/26/2006)

The West Virginia State Police's internal affairs unit has cleared Cpl. Doug Starcher of the Grantsville detachment of any wrongdoing after citizen charges were brought against him in two recent Calhoun cases.

Professional misconduct charges were not sustained by the agency after a mother filed charges against Cpl. Starcher, after he delivered a domestic petition to her 11-year-old daughter instead of the adult for which it was intended.

"In West Virginia we have to pay outrageous taxes for this kind of police protection," said the woman, whose name is withheld because the case is still pending in Family Court.

"(Officer)Ingold told me when I gave him my complaint he was quite familiar with Starcher's problems, and my charges would be sustained," she said, "Funny how the department seems to cover up for it's own even with higher ranking officials."

In the second case, Captain Joseph Parsons, Director of Professional Standards, advised Editor Bob Weaver of the Hur Herald that the State Police's investigation "uncovered no chargeable actions...and the case has been closed as not sustained," against Cpl. Starcher.

Starcher claimed that Weaver was photographing "exposed breasts" of a deceased woman at a car accident, which Weaver says is a "blatant lie" not sustained by witnesses at the scene.

After ordering Weaver not to take photographs of a legal, plain-view scene, Starcher made his only arrest for the month, charging Weaver with assault and obstruction while he was attempting to leave the area.

"Why Cpl. Starcher would use such a flagrant, defaming allegation, that inappropriate photos were being taken of a deceased victim goes beyond the pale," said Weaver.

"That he would attempt to cause his superiors, the community, the press, and sadly, worse, the Burrows' children and family to believe pictures were being taken of their loved one's "exposed breasts," is unconscionable," he said.

Cpl. Starcher had previously threatened to arrest Weaver at two other public, plain-view situations, a fire and an auto accident.


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