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Charges range wildly in Brooke County Court

Updated: Tuesday, March 11 2014, 02:12 PM EDT

BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. – More than three dozen people indicted by the Brooke County Grand Jury appeared in court for the first time since learning their charges Tuesday.
There was a wide range in charges, everything from possession of drugs to the more severe like sex abuse of a minor. One of the more troubling crimes came out of an attempted traffic stop in December.
Burgettstown’s Randolph Strope, 53, who is charged with two counts of malicious assault on a government representative and two counts of fleeing.
Brooke County prosecutor Joe Barki confirmed Strope has a history of fleeing. He was arrested Dec. 23 after fleeing from police.
According to reports, Strope was pulled over by Weirton police for reckless driving and when officers approached, Strope struck one of the officers with his vehicle.
But the alleged incident didn’t stop there. He allegedly led police on a chase along U.S. 22 and into Pennsylvania where he struck another police cruiser.
“It really goes to demonstrate the danger that’s involved a police officer, that in every traffic stop you make you don’t know what you're getting involved in, and every day you go to work you’re putting your life in your hands to do your job,” Barki said. “That’s what these men did. They did their job they made the traffic stop as they needed to do. Unfortunately, one of the officers was struck by the vehicle and another officer was involved in an auto accident.”
Following Tuesday’s appearance, Strope will return to jail on $40,000 bond.
Taking a look at some of the other cases presented, Jacob Mahoney of Bridgeport, Ohio, pleaded not guilty to the seven charges listed against him in the indictment.
He’s accused of soliciting a minor from Brooke County over the Internet.
According to records, he contacted her a number of times, and allegedly met up with the girl in the county on at least one occasion. His bond remains at $70,000.
Meanwhile, two of the three people accused of robbing Gumby’s in Weirton in October were also arraigned.
Darrell Hawkins pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting and robbery and conspiracy charges. Steven Howell pleaded not guilty to robbery and conspiracy. A third suspect charged in connection to the crime, Christina Hawkins did not appear for court. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
In another case, Amy Baker made her first appearance in court. She is accused of stealing $6,000 from the Girl Scouts of America.
Baker, a volunteer with the Girl Scouts, is accused of using a debit card belonging to the organization to make personal purchases. She pleaded not guilty to fraudulent scheme.
And finally, Debra Baker also pleaded not guilty to her one count of embezzlement.
She’s accused of writing checks to herself while serving as treasurer of a local school organization.
Baker is accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the United School Service Employee Association of West Virginia.
Everyone that was arraigned Tuesday is due back in court April 21 to learn their trial dates.

Charges range wildly in Brooke County Court

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