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.