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Man reveals marijuana to courthouse security

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you are daring enough to show up at a courthouse with pot in your pocket, you might want to leave it there.

A Kanawha County man arrived at the Putnam County Courthouse about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday to pay a speeding ticket, according to a complaint filed in Putnam Magistrate Court.

As he entered the building, Howard W. Shingleton Jr., 51, of Cleveland Avenue, St. Albans, was met by an officer manning the security station.

Senior Court Marshal Travis Castle said he told Shingleton to place his metal items into a bowl to be sent through the X-ray screener.

The complaint says Shingleton emptied his pockets, placing his keys, wallet, spare change, two plastic bags of marijuana and a pipe into the bowl.

Castle said he looked into the bowl and at first thought it was a prank. When he saw Shingleton wasn't laughing, he said, "Are you serious? Is this marijuana?"

He said Shingleton responded, "Oh, uh, yes," and then tried to put the pot and other items back into his pockets.

Castle detained Shingleton at the security station and notified State Police.

Trooper B.K. Hammontree responded. Shingleton told the trooper he had marijuana and that it belonged to him.

Hammontree walked Shingleton to Magistrate Kim Blair, who was on duty in day court. He was charged with simple possession of marijuana.

He was released on a personal recognizance bond and left the building without his marijuana.



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