BANDY CASE MIRED - Hearing Set For McCroskey

By Bob Weaver

A pre-trial hearing regarding the criminal case against former Calhoun Chief Deputy Sheriff Ron Bandy was taken from the court docket yesterday.

The cause for the delay was not learned.

A pre-trial hearing had been scheduled for 10 a.m. today before Judge Thomas Evans III in Grantsville.

Bandy has requested a speedy trial.

The former Chief Deputy has been indicted on seven or eight felony charges related to property allegedly taken from an elderly Calhoun couple's house.

Tuesday's hearing, according to court records, had been "entered with the consent and approval of defense counsel and the defendant."

Grantsville resident April McCroskey, who was indicted with Deputy Bandy, will have a pre-trial hearing today at 1 p.m., represented by Parkersburg attorney George Cosenza.

Judge Evans denied a request by special prosecutor Jerry Hough to "divert" Bandy's case, which would essentially mean the case would be dropped. Judge Evans expressed considerable discontent with the motion.

Special Prosecutor Jerry Hough of Gilmer County, during an earlier hearing, told Judge Evans there are problems with the case, indicating State Police Cpl. Doug Starcher had yet to provide transcripts of witness testimony, also saying there were problems with the chain of custody of evidence and that some of the evidence was sold.

Hough did not expand on the list of reasons during the hearing.

Hough and Bandy's attorney John R. Teare had agreed to the diversion, but Judge Evans indicated he wanted the case to go to trial.

Evans, expressing concern that prosecutor Hough was not moving the case forward, questioned whose responsibly it is for deciding about a pre-trial diversion.

The judge said he was concerned about the public's interest, that both indicted individuals were government representatives, one a deputy and the other an Adult Protective Worker for DHHR.

Special Prosecutor Hough was earlier assigned to investigate alleged problems with Cpl. Doug Starcher related to the officer testifying the State Police had drug evidence against a Calhoun woman, when they did not.

The case never moved forward.