CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Supreme Court has upheld a decision by a Marion County judge to dismiss double murder charges against an Ohio man involved in a deadly crash in Whitehall in 2016.
Marion County Prosecutor Jeff Freeman appealed the 2018 decision by Circuit Judge Patrick Wilson in the Ryan Hubbs case to the High Court.
Hubbs, of Paris, Ohio, robbed a woman during a carjacking in a Lewis County parking lot in October 2016. He drove her car north on Interstate 79 and about two hours later caused a crash in Whitehall that claimed the lives of David Glasscock, 64, and Sandra Glasscock. 65. He was charged with robbery in Lewis County and two counts of murder in Marion County.
Hubbs pleaded guilty to second degree robbery in October 2017 in Lewis County and was sentenced to 10-18 years in prison. Judge Wilson dismissed the murder charges in Marion County calling it double jeopardy since Hubbs had already been convicted on the underlying offense. Freeman then filed his appeal.
In a memorandum decision handed down earlier this week, the Supreme Court said state code prohibits it from reviewing an appeal of a dismissed indictment “unless a circuit court has dismissed an indictment because it was either bad or insufficient.”
The Court said that wasn’t the case in the ruling concerning the Hubbs case. Judge Wilson dismissed the indictment on the grounds of double jeopardy.
The Court also said it’s possible the double jeopardy situation could been avoided with better cooperation between prosecutors in Lewis and Marion counties.
“We encourage prosecutors to communicate with prosecutors of other counties to coordinate local prosecutorial efforts in circumstances such as the present matter,” the memorandum decision said.
Supreme Court Justice Tim Armstead wrote a concurring and separate memorandum decision. In it, Armstead agreed with how the Court reached its decision but, “I believe the issue of whether Constitutional protections against double jeopardy would prevent conviction of Mr. Hubbs for both the underling felony and felony murder when the crimes involve separate and distinct victims remains unsettled in West Virginia.”