(08/15/2011)
Hate crime charges have been dismissed against a 19-year-old Calhoun youth, after he was charged with making threats against an African-American youth on a Calhoun school bus.

Both were students at the time, the alleged victim is reported to be about eight-years-old.

Cody Starcher, 19, was charged with a "hate crime" under West Virginia Code on May 5th, following a report of the incident to the Calhoun Sheriffs Department.

The charge against Starcher for violation of civil rights was issued by Deputy J. D. Smith, after he received multiple statements from several juveniles regarding the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Starcher did "on a school bus, threaten the juvenile attending public school with injury...or death, while voicing racial insults ... "ni--er" and "go back to Africa."

Starcher denied the allegations.

Magistrate Teresa Robinson found insufficient evidence in a preliminary hearing this week to find probable cause and dismissed the charges.

The State has the option to present the case to a Grand Jury to look at the case for possible indictment.

Starcher was represented by Grantsville attorney John Oshoway.


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