CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants said Monday he wants to go to trial on two domestic-related misdemeanor criminal charges.

Plants has been looking at pretrial diversion options the last few months with the possibility of having the charges dismissed but his attorney announced Monday that due to recent developments they hope to go to trial.

The Kanawha County Commission is scheduled to vote at its Thursday night meeting to file a motion with the state Supreme Court to ask that a three-judge panel be appointed to consider removing Plants from office. Commission President Kent Carper who has limited his comments on the criminal charges against Plants had a brief comment Monday.

“Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence,” Carper said.

The county commission has heavily criticized the ongoing costs of a special prosecutor because Plants’ office cannot prosecutor domestic violence cases as long as he faces the charges. The arrangement has already cost approximately $90,000.

Plants allegedly violated a domestic-violence order filed by his ex-wife that was to keep him away from her and the couple’s two sons. Plants was later charged with domestic battery after using a belt on his son when he was disciplining him. The belt left a bruise.

Plants had been approved to attend a 32-week batterer’s intervention program in Putnam County but hasn’t signed up for it. Completion of the program could mean dismissal of the charges. But Plants said last week he wasn’t going to back down from the county commission, pointing out the money his office had saved the county since his election six years ago.

The special magistrate in the Plants case has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 27 in Princeton. The prosecutor’s attorney Jim Cagle says Plants wants to return to “square one” in the case.

Cagle was successful last week in a misdemeanor criminal trial when he represented Kanawha County Family Court Judge Mark Snyder who was charged with battery on a nurse. The jury deliberated for a half-hour before finding Snyder not guilty.

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Comments

  • Nehlen

    Let me see if I got this right, Plants is willing to forego a deal which would likely lead to the dismissal of charges; avoid having his son testify against him; preserve his ability to participate in youth sports; protect his right to possess a firearm; and, potentially save his law license so that he can have his day in court and seek an aquittal in 2 seperate criminal trials?

    It sounds like a very risky, desperate and selfish attempt to save his job. I hope he has thought this through. It doesn't seem logical to me.

    I don't see this ending well.

  • Maxeer

    PLEASE let this dude go AWAY!!!!.....tired of this crap wasting money and time. Enough ALREADY!!!

  • sammy

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me be on the jury. Enough is enough.

  • Rich

    What a great dad to ask for a trial at which his child will be force to testify in a public forum. More trauma on the child, irrespective of the outcome of the trial. Way to put your family first.

    • Bill

      Great point. I'm trying to visualize what 'victory' looks like for Plants.

      Impotent prosecutor for remainder of term, political career over, unemployable and children drug needlessly through the mud. It sounds pretty hollow to me. Am I missing something?

  • Jason412

    I bet you'd be hard pressed to find anyone else in the state who was able to have an illegal pre-trial diversion, then a legal one which they agreed to, then weeks later they drop it and decide to go to trial.

    So I hope taxpayers are ready to foot this bill for quite a while. I'm sure the trial will be dragged out as long as possible.

  • northforkfisher

    I think it is B.S. that he can take a course and have his domestic violence charges be dropped. If he was a common everyday person, his office would have already threw the book at them, and had them convicted . The person would lose their gun rights, and possibly denied things due to background check

    He should go through the process same as everyone else, or let everyone else have the same choices.

    • Slick

      It's even worse when you sign an agreement which reaks of favoritism then try to weasel out when it doesn't meet your political objectives.

  • wv4evah

    If Plants does go to trial, will someone please make sure he removes his belt before he enters the courtroom?

  • Coach

    Does returning to square one mean taxpayers get all of their money back? If Plants writes a $100,000 check it might be an option. Otherwise he needs to keep his word and complete the batterers intervention program. He wants a "do over" because his stagety in the criminal case didn't work on the political side. That isn't sufficient to set the agreement aside.

  • Aaron

    Even if he's found not guilty of abuse, there is no way he's found not guilty of violation the DVP. He admittedly violated it numerous times in his lame attempts to justify his actions. So how can one convicted of a crime enforce the very same crime against others. This man's ego is simply too much. After this fiasco, he has no chance of getting elected again and if he is, voters deserve him.

  • BIM Job

    Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence yet the commissioner wants the Supreme Court to look into removing an ELECTED OFFICIAL from office before there is even a trial. Sounds like Carper is spewing out of both sides of his @$$.

    • Slick

      Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence up to the point when you sign an agreement waiving that right in exchange for leniency from the prosecutor.

    • Aaron

      Didn't he kind of do away with the presumption of innocence when he admitted guilt? Or did he only admit guilt because it was convenient for him?

  • Eyes Wide Open

    Oh I get it. The recent developments to which Plants' lawyer refers is the not guilty finding in the Snyder case. A trial sounds a lot better now that someone else has gotten a favorable ruling, in what Plants hopes is a similar situation. If Plants had wanted this all along, one might defend his principles, but to see a desire to return to "square one" due to me-tooism only lowers my already low opinion of Mr. Plants.