An out-of-court settlement has been reached in a civil suit against Trooper Doug
Starcher by Grantsville resident Richard Whytsell. Whytsell brought the action when
State Police refused to replace the rear window of his car, and the department
sustained charges of professional misconduct against the trooper.|
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, although Whytsell said he did not
pursue the case for money. He was represented by Grantsville attorney F. John
Trooper Starcher did a traffic stop on Whytsell in December, 1999, throwing a MagLite
through his window after witnesses said the officer was "full of rage," in what seemed
to be a case of mistaken identity. Whytsell said "I did nothing wrong," but Starcher
continued to write citations against him and take him to magistrate court.
Whytsell Auto Shows Maglite Damage
A witness said Starcher claimed he was parked at the Bethlehem Baptist Church on
Route 5 about one mile from Grantsville, when he thought a person in a similar car
fired a gun at him.
The officer did not report the incident or radio for assistance as he headed his cruiser
toward Grantsville. He stopped Whytsell, who was accompanied by local resident
Mitch Stevens. Other witnesses observed the incident at a four-way intersection in
Trooper Starcher's police report made no mention of the MagLite incident or the
alleged gunshot. The Whytsell case was not the first incident involving questionable
use of a MagLite in the county.
Starcher is embroiled in other situations regarding professional misconduct, most
recently allegations he committed perjury in Calhoun Circuit Court.
The West Virginia State Police announced Trooper Starcher has been assigned to the
The Spencer detachment has a new commander Sgt. M. K. Cruikshank. Roane native
1st Sgt. D. E. Fluharty II has been promoted to District Commander, supervising
Spencer, Clay, Grantsville and Ripley.