The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

June 26, 2013

Former chief public defender pleads not guilty to embezzlement

LEWISBURG — The former chief of the 11th Judicial Circuit’s Public Defender office was arraigned Tuesday, pleading not guilty to an embezzlement charge.

Denney William Bostic, 54, is accused of making personal use of a credit card issued to him as chief public defender for a circuit that includes Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties.

The alleged embezzlement took place between March 5, 2010, and Aug. 5, 2011, according to a felony indictment returned by a Greenbrier County grand jury earlier this month. The indictment puts the amount of money at issue at more than $1,000, but does not specify an exact amount.

Now living with his sister in Wilmington, N.C., Bostic appeared in court without legal representation Tuesday afternoon but with an affidavit in hand requesting the court appoint counsel to represent him.

Asked by special Judge John Hrko, “Are you a lawyer?” a subdued Bostic responded, “I was.”

The defendant explained to the judge, “I voluntarily surrendered my license, your honor.”

Bostic gave up his law license in October 2011 after leaving the Public Defender’s office.

When Hrko further asked if Bostic would have any problem with someone from the Public Defender’s office being appointed to represent him in the matter currently before the court, Bostic said, “I would say they have a problem with that. I was (at one time) the boss over everyone in that office.”

Ultimately, Hrko, a senior status judge who was appointed to hear this case June 11, appointed E. Lavoyd Morgan Jr. to represent Bostic.

“I’ve got a good professional relationship with him,” Bostic told the court.

The appointment of counsel raised a new problem, however, as Hrko told Bostic, “Now that I’ve appointed counsel for you, I feel just a little bit uncomfortable arraigning you without him here.”

Fortunately, Morgan was scheduled to be in court representing another client later in the afternoon and a cell phone call from the courtroom by special Prosecutor Justin St. Clair brought the attorney to the courthouse posthaste, allowing the arraignment to proceed.

After conferring with his attorney, Bostic waived the reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to the embezzlement charge.

The judge explained that the penalty, if Bostic were convicted of the felony offense as charged, would be one to 10 years in the penitentiary or, at the court’s discretion, up to one year in a regional jail and a $2,500 fine.

Upon the prosecutor’s recommendation, Hrko set a personal recognizance bond in the amount of $5,000 for Bostic.

“It’s kind of obvious (Bostic) will appear; he appeared here today,” Hrko commented in setting bond.

Having been assured the Greenbrier County Circuit Court docket would allow such prompt scheduling of proceedings, the judge set a pre-trial date of Sept. 13 and a trial for Sept. 30, but also addressed the possibility of the two sides reaching a plea agreement.

Hrko promised a swift response to such an agreement, with the caveat that the plea hearing must be held in Greenbrier County, where the charges were brought.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Sunflower 1 Unique sunflower

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • How much will annexation cost?

    City of Beckley officials say annexation would provide many benefits to outlying residents, but exactly how much would annexation cost?

    July 28, 2014

  • Not in my backyard: U.S. sending fossil fuel abroad

    As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

    July 28, 2014

  • Greenbrier PSD officials worried about State Fair tunnel project

    Plans to raise a section of U.S. 219 and construct a tunnel underneath for the passage of State Fair pedestrians provided a hot topic for discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Greenbrier Public Service District No. 1 board.

    July 28, 2014

  • Beckley man places second in three-day world horseshoe tourney in Buffalo, N.Y.

    One Beckley man knows a thing or two about pitching a horseshoe. He’s been throwing for decades and he’s been to a handful of world tournaments. Recently he placed second in the 2014 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.

    July 28, 2014

  • saints garb new Saintly garb

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • tunnel flow Tunnel reopens after fire

    Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • tunnel firefighters Bluefield firefighters first ones on the scene

    Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Internet service providers talk shop at Broadband Summit

    Call it the Internet 101.

    West Virginia’s Internet service providers, with the help of Mike Holstine, explained how end-users in homes and businesses get the Internet, how and why they use it and the benefits of having high-speed Internet for everybody. 

     

    July 27, 2014

  • tunnel Fire closes I-77 for hours

    East River Mountain Tunnel was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke Friday as a result of a tractor-trailer fire inside the tunnel that ignited just after 3 p.m.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo