Prosecutor Recuses Self in Crawford Case

Tyler County Prosecutor D. Like Furbee will not serve as the prosecutor in the case against Gina Crawford because of his association with Crawford’s mother, school Superintendent Robin Daquilante.

Second Circuit Chief Judge Mark A. Karl granted a request made Tuesday by Furbee asking to be disqualified from the Crawford prosecution because of a potential conflict of interest that may arise.

Furbee advises the Tyler County Board of Education on legal matters, and thus has a relationship with Daquilante.

“It is with great reluctance that I make a motion for the appointment of a special prosecutor,” Furbee said in a prepared statement. “However, relevant conflict rules make it necessary to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. This office works closely with the office of the superintendent of schools, and it would be unfair to all involved for me to remain in the criminal cases only to have to recuse at a later time if some clear conflict arises.”

The West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute will nominate a special prosecutor to replace Furbee in the case.

Sistersville police arrested Crawford, 33, a fifth-grade teacher as Sistersville Elementary School and her boyfriend, Justin Britton, 32, on Friday after serving a search warrant at Crawford’s Wiley Avenue home.

She was held over the weekend at the Northern Regional Jail at Moundsville after a Tyler County Magistrate set bond at $10,000. She and Britton are charged with possession with intent to distribute.

Sistersville Police Chief Ben Placer said the arrests were made as a result of a month-long investigation based upon observation of activity coming from the house. He said officers recovered items of evidence from the home, but he would not disclose what they had found.

Police also cited Chase Cornell, 18, of Sistersville and Austin Rhodes, 18, of Friendly, who were at the Crawford home when the search warrant was executed, for simple possession.