Offender Sent Back to Prison

Circuit Judge David Sims reinstated convicted sex offender Cody Brautigam’s prison sentence Monday after Brautigam was kicked out of the Anthony Correctional Center for threatening to stab someone with a pencil and for other rules violations.

Brautigam, 19, of Wheeling pleaded guilty in April to two counts of third-degree sexual assault. Sims suspended a two- to 10-year prison sentence to allow Brautigam to spend six months to two years in the Anthony Center, a facility for offenders 18 to 25 years old.

Mark Wegman, Anthony Center associate warden of programs, testified via telephone Wednesday that Brautigam was accused of assault and battery three times in the little more than two months he was housed at the facility.

During a physical altercation between Brautigam and another inmate, Brautigam threatened to stab the youth with a pencil, Wegman said. That threat brought concerns about safety of other inmates and facility staff, and prompted Brautigam’s transfer to the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.

Wegman said multiple administrative hearings were held to address the violations. During a final hearing, while Brautigam was housed at the regional jail, the 19-year-old was given the opportunity to present testimony and question witnesses. Instead, he hung up the phone and opted not to participate.

“It’s clear from the testimony that Mr. Brautigam not only was given his due process, he was given a second chance to stay at this facility, despite the recommendation that he be removed,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jenna Perkins. “A few day’s after that, he’s in another incident.”

Brautigam’s attorney, Chief Public Defender Shayne Welling, said Brautigam has a low IQ and has been diagnosed with mild mental retardation. He was not granted access to witnesses or evidence prior to the final administrative hearing, he added.

“The Anthony Center essentially took this individual … sent him to the Northern Regional Jail and said, ‘Good luck preparing your case,'” argued Welling. “That’s not due process.”

Sims ruled that Anthony Center officials granted Brautigam his due process rights before returning him to circuit court. Wednesday’s hearing was not to determine if Brautigam was guilty of the alleged rule violations at Anthony Center.

Brautigam pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting then 9- and 8-year-old girls in July 2012.