CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A decision by a Kanawha County magistrate left Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster scratching his head.
Magistrate Tim Halloran abruptly ended a preliminary hearing for two men Thursday charged with malicious wounding and dismissed the charges finding no probable cause for their arrest.
“The officer was in the middle of his testimony, the way I understand it, when Magistrate Halloran said, ‘We’re shutting it down, I don’t want to hear any more, it’s dismissed.’” said Webster talking about the case on MetroNews Talkline. Friday “I’ve testified in those proceedings before and that to me seems very irregular.”
Kenneth Gooden and Carlos Short for a brief moment were off the hook, but city police and the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office kicked into high gear and managed to arrest the pair again before the left the South Central Regional Jail.
“Our experience would be they are probably a flight risk,” said Webster. “From a public safety standpoint we cared about that, and based on the fact these guys are from Detroit, we probably wouldn’t have seen them again.”
Gooden and Short are suspects in a shooting on Glenwood Street in Charleston last month. Numerous shots were fired, one of which hit innocent bystander Craig Tolley as he walked to his car near his home.
After their second arrest, bond for the two was lowered considerably from $100,000 to $25,000. Webster said that was disappointing, but at least they were in jail.
“From our point of view they are very dangerous individuals,” he said. “They should have their day in court, but it should not be like this.”