Missing Tape May Cause Case Dismissal

A cassette tape used to record audio from Bradley Patchin’s January preliminary hearing in Ohio County Magistrate Court was still missing on Friday, which may prompt Patchin’s attorney to request that the charges against his client be dismissed.

Circuit Judge James Mazzone arraigned Patchin, 23, of Weirton last week on charges of of attempted kidnapping, stalking and domestic battery. He remains free on bond while awaiting trial on July 1.

Patchin’s attorney, William Galloway, informed the judge during that hearing that the tape had gone missing.

Mazzone’s office contacted both magistrate and circuit court clerk offices later that day, and neither could locate the tape.

Magistrate Joe Roxby ruled at the preliminary hearing that there was enough evidence against Patchin to present the case to a grand jury.

With no record that the preliminary hearing took place, however, subsequent proceedings could be deemed invalid and may be grounds for Mazzone to grant a dismissal.

“That’s actually something I’ve been pondering, but I haven’t made a determination of whether or not a motion should be made,” Galloway said Friday.

Galloway was irked and said he has been informed that court officials have lost the tapes on previous occasions. Assistant Prosecutor Gail Kahle shared Galloway’s frustration last week, saying the court is “horrendous” at reconciling the tapes.

Patchin allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s car after being kicked out of a downtown Wheeling bar one night in December.

He waited for the woman in the vehicle, then allegedly grabbed her and muffled her screams with his hand before she escaped.