The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

January 18, 2013

Oak Hill dentist pleads guilty to distributing pills; sentencing delayed

FAYETTEVILLE — The sentencing for an Oak Hill dentist who has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing hydrocodone to his son and daughter-in-law has been delayed.

On Thursday, the sentencing of Dr. Charles Shelton Sr. was continued by Circuit Judge John Hatcher due to an incomplete pre-sentencing investigation report.

Shelton was indicted on May 5 of last year on 30 counts of constructive delivery of a controlled substance, a felony charge.

The alleged recipients of the illegal prescriptions included Shelton’s son, Charles E. Shelton Jr., his daughter-in-law, Caitlyn Gresham; Malaquias Wallace; Tabitha Cox; Tiffany Bennett and Alijah Cook.

He pleaded guilty to six of the felonies — four involving Gresham and two involving Shelton Jr. — on Nov. 9 and was scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

Shelton’s attorney, Christopher Moorehead, told Hatcher he wanted more time to provide information about the man’s economic status and health. He says Shelton owes $750,000 in taxes to the IRS and suffers from Type 2 diabetes and other serious ailments.

Hatcher said he would have continued the sentencing anyway because the pre-sentencing investigation was sparse on information, especially considering Shelton is “facing serious, serious problems.”

“This report is about the same length as that of a fellow who stole some wire from a telephone pole that I dealt with earlier today,” said the judge. “I need a lot more information.”

Each felony holds a possible sentence of between one and five years in jail, a fine of $15,000, or both. The sentencing has not yet been rescheduled.

Shelton’s son has also been indicted on the same charges as his father.

A criminal complaint alleges that on Jan. 2, 2012, Shelton Jr., delivered an illegitimate prescription for 60 Lortab pills to Wallace, written by Dr. Shelton.

Wallace had allegedly never visited or been examined by Dr. Shelton.

According to the complaint, the prescription was to be filled at Rite Aid Pharmacy and 16 pills were to be given to Wallace for filling the prescription and the other pills were to be given to Shelton Jr.

Last year, Shelton Jr.’s criminal proceeding was continued to the present term of court.

—E-mail: cmoore@register-herald.com

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