Four appear in court on copper theft charges
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four men accused of cutting copper phone wires in the Cabin Creek area nearly two years ago were in circuit court to answer charges against them.
Three of them made plea agreements with the state and one expects to go to trial.
A Kanawha Grand Jury indicted Kevin Lamar Stanley, 29, of Carbon; Joey Lee Rose, 32, of Carbon; Travis Lee Stanley, 30 of Dakota and Warren Binion, 30, of Carbon. They were each charged with felony damage to a public utility creating risk of injury or interruption of service.
Prosecutors said the men cut 800 feet of telephone cable that belongs to Frontier Communications, resulting in $20,296 in damage. More than 150 Frontier customers in the area were without service when those lines were cut in July 2011.
Kevin Stanley pleaded guilty to the charge against him. He was sentenced to one to three years in prison, with credit for time he has been in jail since his arrest. Stanley is currently also serving a sentence for marijuana possession.
Binion pleaded guilty to the same charge, telling the judge he, Kevin Stanley and Rose made plans to cut the wire and he drove them in his truck to the site.
"It was a kind of spur of the moment thing," Binion said to Circuit Judge Charles King. "We was going to cut it down and sell it."
Binion said when police spotted the group cutting the cable, he took off into the woods and was apprehended later.
Rose pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact, and denied that he actually took part in the scheme.
"I was walking along the street and they had the lines already down and they asked me for help. And I was standing there when the cops came.
"It was stupid," Rose said. "Wrong place, wrong time."
He said the men asked him for help in dragging the line across a creek. Later, police recovered all of the line and copper, plus tools and a ladder in the woods.
As part of his plea, Rose agreed to testify against the others. Prosecutors will recommend probation for him when he and Binion are sentenced next month.
Travis Stanley, who is Kevin Stanley's brother, pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. He is scheduled to go on trial next month.
Two representatives of Frontier Communications were present for the hearing, but King delayed their comments until the sentencing. Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4832.