2013 Successful Year For Robbery, Drug Convictions

The conviction of Johnathon Underwood for robbing residents of a home on Ohio Street at gunpoint has been one of the most successful convictions for the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office in 2013, according to Prosecutor Jeff Cramer.

According to court review report released Friday, the prosecutor’s office convicted 55 people in 71 separate felony crimes last year. According to Cramer, State v. Underwood was an important case for his office, since Marshall County does not often have “home invasion” type robberies.

“It was very important that the message be sent that (home invasions) are not tolerated and will result in long prison sentences,” Cramer said. “Mr. Underwood is serving 20 years.”

Cramer said Marshall County improved in investigating and prosecuting drug cases last year and cited the formation of the Marshall County Drug Task Force as a huge influence in fighting “the epidemic of illegal controlled substance sales and abuse.” Cramer’s office convicted 15 drug-related felony charges last year.

According to the report, the county also convicted nine crimes of violence including robbery, malicious assault and child abuse; seven sexual assault, abuse and failure to register charges; 36 property crimes including burglary, breaking and entering and grand larceny and three third offense DUIs.

Prosecutors also handled over 20 civil child abuse and neglect cases and more than 1,000 criminal misdemeanor matters in Marshall County Magistrate Court. Also, there are 57 felony indictments from prior terms of the Marshall County Grand Jury on the active docket of Chief Judge Mark A. Karl.

As for the future, Cramer said his goals for the new year are to “bring our community’s values to the courtroom and represent the citizens of Marshall County in their most important cases.” He said his office thanks the West Virginia State Police, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and the Benwood, Cameron, Glen Dale, McMechen and Moundsville police departments for their assistance in investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Some of the other most serious crimes the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office convicted in 2013 include:

  • Christopher Vennis, two counts of first degree robbery, 26 years combined sentence.
  • Eddie Nelson, first degree robbery, 16 years sentence.
  • Reuben Brown, burglary, grand larceny, entry of building, 3-30 years sentence.
  • Stephen Strohmeyer, delivery of controlled substance (heroin), 2-30 years sentence.
  • John Duley, burglary, entry of building, 2-25 years sentence.