Former Wheeling Cop Phil Redford Set To Enter Plea
WHEELING — Former Wheeling police Lt. Phil Redford will plead guilty to an unspecified charge Thursday when he appears at an 11 a.m. hearing before Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson.
Special Prosecutor Joe Barki said presentments to an Ohio County grand jury Monday did not include an allegation of sex abuse against Redford because Redford agreed to the plea deal.
“The case did not get presented because we reached a plea agreement before the grand jury convened,” Barki said. “I have no further comment at this time because we are still working out some details to resolve the case.”
West Virginia State Police Sgt. Scott Adams arrested Redford, who also is a former head of security for The Linsly School in Wheeling, on Nov. 15 on a charge of sex abuse by a person in position of trust, a conviction that could have resulted in a prison term of 10-20 years and a fine up to $5,000.
Ohio County Magistrate Patty Murphy set bond for Redford at $100,000 with conditions that he have no contact with the alleged victim and that he travel no farther than 30 miles from Wheeling.
The complaint filed by Adams, who works as an investigator for the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, states he met on Oct. 20 with an attorney representing the alleged victim’s father and the attorney offered information allegedly documenting Redford having sexual relations with the student, who has since graduated and turned 18 years of age.
After all Ohio County magistrates and the prosecutor’s office recused themselves from the case citing conflict of interest, Hancock County Magistrate Scott Hicks took over the case and Barki stepped in as special prosecutor.
During a Dec. 5 hearing, during which the teenager said she and the 43-year-old Redford are engaged to be married, Hicks modified the no-contact condition of the original bond.
Wilson overturned that decision on Jan. 3 when he ruled Hicks did not have the authority to modify Redford’s bond to permit contact with the teenager. He cited case law stating a defendant must not live in the same residence or have contact with an alleged victim in a sexual abuse case. The judge said that cannot be changed, and must be part of bond conditions in the case.
Redford worked at Linsly from the fall of 2013 until his resignation Aug. 9, and at the Wheeling Police Department from March 1995 until Aug. 9, when he retired from the force.