Bethlehem Police Officer Released From Custody

Officer Charged With Stalking Free on Bail

By ALEX MEYER

Staff Writer

WHEELING — A Bethlehem police officer charged earlier this month with stalking a female student was released from jail on a $5,000 bond Tuesday.

Daniel Eastham, 29, of New Martinsville, appeared before Ohio County Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning for a bond modification hearing.

Eastham, who was charged with misdemeanor stalking and violation of a protective order, was jailed April 16 on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Magistrate Patricia Murphy approved the bond modification, which reduced the bond to $5,000 and ordered Eastham not have any form of contact with the juvenile in the case. Murphy further required Eastham to post $500 of the bond Tuesday and submit a justification of surety by Wednesday.

On Nov. 16, the mother of the student at an undisclosed Ohio County school told Eastham to cut all contact with her daughter. The mother also obtained a restraining order, in effect until Sept. 1.

In January, Eastham allegedly appeared at the school with gifts for the student, who was “visibly shaken and upset” after seeing him, according to a police report.

The student told staff she was not allowed to be near Eastham due to a fight he had with her mother. The student also said Eastham would come to the school to “spy” on her, according to the report.

The matter was reported to the school’s public resource officer, a deputy with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities charged Eastham with stalking on April 15. Investigators then called the mother, who said she received calls all day from Eastham’s number. That led to the charges of violation of a protective order.

Eastham later turned himself in to the sheriff’s office and was arrested April 16.

A date has yet to be set for his trial, the magistrate court confirmed Tuesday.

At the time of Eastham’s arrest last week, mayor Tim Bishop declined to comment on the matter, saying it was a private human resources matter. Bishop again declined to comment Tuesday afternoon and said he stands by his previous statement.

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