Since this is my first post on the new site, I thought it would be prudent at the very least to revisit the allegations in my own words for anyone that may not be aware of the current situation. I am of course using the original article for a reference; simply to be factual and to set a timeline. I will include links to the original articles as well as my own thoughts posted after the links.
On June 9, 2012 a Barbour County woman made multiple allegations against the Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins, these claims were first reported publicly in a Randolph County newspaper and has since been covered in multiple media outlets.
In the original article it was stated that a Barbour County woman, Brittany Keene, 18, filed a domestic violence protection order petition (DVP) against Sheriff Hawkins on May 11, 2012 in Randolph County.
It was stated that the reason Brittany filed the order was because Sheriff Hawkins had threatened her with not only an indictment but threats against her life if she were to speak publicly about a sexual relationship between the two. Brittany Keene further stated in her DVP that an allegation of rape by Sheriff Hawkins had taken place in July 2011. Brittany went on to say that even more threats of harm were made by Sheriff Hawkins in an attempt to keep her silent, even going as far to say that her body would be the next one found at Arden river.
On May 29, 2012 Brittany Keene was indicted by a Barbour County Grand Jury in a sealed indictment for a felony of receiving stolen goods and two misdemeanors for transferring stolen goods in connection with another case where a church had been broken into and two guitars were removed from that church on March 22, 2012 or around that date. I should note that Brittany Keene was alleged to have sold one of the guitars and gave one away. It is also important to mention that the indictment came 18 days after she had filed the DVP. She was arrested for those charges later in the day.
On May 31, 2012, Brittany Keene did state that she was not guilty at her arraignment and was released on a $1000 PR bond with special conditions.
On June 5, 2012, the day of the hearing on the DVP, Brittany Keene at the advice of her attorney decided to drop the DVP. She stated that she did not wish too and had she known that she could have had the hearing continued, she would have pursued that avenue instead. She has also said she is going to try to have the original DVP reinstated.
It is because of her arrest that she contacted the Randolph County newspaper, she wished for her story to be made public, further stating that the sole reason for her indictment and arrest was to keep her silent. Which she stated only added coal to the fire.
On May 21, 2012 the Barbour County Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling issued a public statement; no officers have been arrested and that there are no charges pending against them. The following are her quotes; “To continue to foster rumors and innuendoes is only hurting law enforcement and preventing them from serving the public”, and “Various reports of arrests to social networking sites and media sources are untrue.” Please take note that this statement was issued 10 days after the DVP had been filed by Miss Keene and 8 days before the indictment.
On June 13, 2012, the Barbour County Prosecutor Leckta Poling and Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats removed themselves from the case in where Brittany Keene is alleged to have received stolen goods and transferred the stolen goods. Leckta Poling stated the following reason for her recusal; “to maintain the integrity of the court system and confidence of the public in these matters due to a perceived appearance of impropriety raised publicly in the Elkins Inter-Mountain by the defendant, Brittany Mae Keene.”
On June 16, 2012, Sheriff John Hawkins responded to the allegations on his own public Facebook page by addressing his post to those who “hide behind fake names” on Facebook and other social media sites to “slander and bash” him.
Sheriff Hawkins did in fact mention several names directly and of course my name was included. He went on to further state; “I deny the allegations as set forth in the petition you helped the young lady file and later, on advice of her own counsel, dropped because she couldn’t prove,” the post stated. “I have committed none of the crimes you blatantly accuse me of! I have not coerced or manipulated the court system in this or any case,” the post continued. “I had no involvement in the case in which my accuser was arrested. On the contrary, I purposely removed myself, as the judge and prosecutor now have, to avoid any possible conflict. …”
This of course concludes my revisit of the allegations at hand as well as a timeline that outlines the events. I hope that I have been as complete as I can without plagiarizing the original authors of the articles involved. If anyone would like to read the articles in their entirety, please visit the links as provided below, if you have already read the articles or are completely familiar with the issues at hand, then please, by all means read my commentary following the links.
Here are the original articles in their entirety;
My Thoughts & Opinions;
So maybe I should start with why I am now posting here on my own site instead of posting on Topix as I have in the past. Well I think for many that have followed me, that answer is simple but for the ones that do not know I should explain.
It was during the last few days that my own posts on Topix that were not only objected too by certain people; I of course can deal with objections. As in any issue, not everyone agrees with another’s opinion, but in this case, my posts were being removed by certain people under the guise of abuse.
They were stating that my comments were abusive in nature, while in fact, many of my recent posts were void of defamatory comments or allegations. Quite a number of them were in fact informative or about the topic of free speech. One that had been removed was as simple as providing an answer to a person who was requesting the proper procedure to file a complaint against the Barbour County Prosecutor. I of course responded with the website of the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel; the very organization that receives and investigates complaints made against attorneys and prosecutors.
So after many posts being removed in what I perceive as a way to silence me and after much thought on the matter, I brought attention to this site and the fact that I would be posting my thoughts and opinions here. Where I can practice my 1st amendment without others interfering with what I perceive to be one of the most valued amendments that we as a nation have at our disposal. With that said, let’s get to how I feel about the whole issue.
I wish to first and foremost state that on this website, I have to go with the premise that we are in fact dealing with allegations that have not been proven in a court of law. It is only fair that the people involved have are presumed innocent until proven guilty, if found guilty in a court of law.
I know that I will be perceived as now being soft, backing off on what I actually feel. That is actually not true. Just because I am reminding everyone that we are in fact dealing with allegations, does not mean that we as citizens of Barbour County or any other citizen may not discuss the situation at hand. To be able to give our thoughts and opinions in a free manner is the reason I have this site, but we still need to post each of our thoughts, our opinions and speculations as such. Now that I have went over what I feel I am legally obligated to do, let us discuss the current situation.
I have of course included not only the allegations but a timeline that has dates for all to see. So that anyone who wishes to refer to dates may do so; but more importantly to be able to see the entire story in full context of time; which of course is quite important to me, because it strengthens my perceptions of the entire case.
So what are my perceptions regarding this case? Well for one I am going to be the first to state that while an allegation of rape has been made by Brittany Keene, I am not so sure that she would be able to prove such a claim. With that said, I should further clarify that I do believe that during a consenting sexual incident that something occurred that Miss Keene did not wish to happen and as such is actually a form of rape but one that may not be able to be proven. Again, we are dealing with an allegation and to me, an atrocious one to say the least.
Now back to the allegation of him wishing to silence her, for her to remain quiet about the relationship, the sex and any other things that he did not wish to be made public. We should focus only on the facts and the dates that surround the entire case, not the rumors nor the evidence that has either been discussed or not discussed.
Right now for the moment, we can all safely say that it was more than obvious that Sheriff Hawkins did indeed not wish for the DVP to be made public. Now let me say, we do not know the reason why he did not wish for it to be made public, but never the less, it is now public. Let me remind everyone that on May 21, 2012 the prosecutor did indeed release a statement that essentially nothing was going on. That again leads to the perception that they the officials did not wish anything to be made public. Although I do not understand how they intended to go back and correct that statement when the news of the DVP were finally released, unless of course they never intended for it to find its way to the public. Again, I am simply hypothesizing, discussing the issues at hand.
So based on what we can all presume of our own accord, we can say with all fairness that there is definitely a perception that many of these issues were never meant to be made public, at least not the DVP which brings up the credibility of both the Sheriff and maybe even the prosecutor. Let us assume for the moment that the prosecutor released the statement based on the information the sheriff had given her. Well we are now aware that there was indeed a DVP that had been filed against Sheriff Hawkins. So did he in fact lie to the prosecutor? I can’t answer that question, nor can anyone else but Leckta Poling and Sheriff Hawkins, though if he had and I were her, I would be more than angered simply because it did cast her in the very shadow that covers Barbour County at the moment.
So all assumptions aside, it does indeed look like there was an effort to hide certain aspects if not all of them. Which makes me wonder, what else is there that could be hidden? I mean I am sure I am not the only one that has thought that very question. Just the issues that have arisen outside of the allegations have created the very perception of a shroud of secrecy and in my mind, a shroud that should never be placed between the people and their elected officials. I am certain that it is one perception that lends credence to some of the allegations. It will be quite interesting of course how this plays out, though I wish to remind everyone that while critics are saying that we are judging and condemning the man too guilt is actually not so. We are merely discussing the issue at hand just like everyone does when the very prosecutor and sheriff disclose that they have arrested someone for an alleged crime and publicized that arrest, indictment and charges. It is no different here! We as citizens have the right to express our freedom of speech regardless of the attempts to silence many of us, especially me. So it is for that reason I speak out, for truth, justice and freedom. I do hope that the people who read this takes a moment to post their thoughts, their opinions and please do so in a respectful manner for the accused, the accuser and your fellow posters. If you chose to be derogatory, defamatory or just plain mean, than please direct your posts towards to me and leave others free of that discourse.
I would however like to leave everyone with one question.
What would your opinions, thoughts and perceptions be if there were more women to make claims against Sheriff Hawkins? Just a question, nothing more or less!