Citing "outrageous government misconduct," a motion has been filed to dismiss the indictment against a Philippi woman who accused Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins of sexual misconduct.
Brittany Mae Keene, 18, was indicted in May on one felony count of receiving stolen property and two misdemeanor counts of transferring stolen property. The indictment alleges Keene came into possession of two guitars stolen from Haven of Hope Church on or about March 22 or 23.
Keene has claimed she was indicted in retaliation for filing a petition for a domestic violence protection order against Hawkins in May. Hawkins has denied Keene's accusations.
The motion to dismiss the indictment, filed by attorney Paul Harris of Wheeling, states that "the indictment is deficient on its face in that it fails to identify the person from whom the accused (Keene) allegedly received the property."
The motion also states the indictment should be dismissed "for outrageous government misconduct in violation of due process clauses contained in the federal and West Virginia constitutions."
Harris "respectfully requests the court issue a briefing schedule for the parties and thereafter dismiss the indictment," the motion states.
A motion hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 6 in Barbour County Circuit Court.
Barbour County Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling and Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats voluntarily recused themselves June 11 from the felony indictment case involving Keene.
In a June 12 news release, Poling stated she recused herself from the indictment case 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."
Poling also recused herself from a misdemeanor charge of underage consumption, which is pending against Keene.
Senior Status Judge John Henning was appointed by the state Supreme Court to oversee the indictment case after Moats recused himself.
Joseph Shaffer of Harrison County has been appointed the special prosecutor in the case.
Harris took over Keene's representation from Philippi attorney Justina Helmick, who had been appointed by the court.
Keene was named in a Barbour County Grand Jury sealed indictment on May 29, 18 days after she filed the petition for a domestic violence protection order against Hawkins. She was arrested the same day as the indictment.
Keene withdrew her petition June 5.
Poling told The Inter-Mountain later in June that she met with Keene in August 2011 about the teen's alleged sexual relationship with Hawkins.
Poling said Keene also alleged sexual relationships with two other law enforcement officers.
Poling also said she contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia State Police to pass along the information from the meeting.
Poling said Keene initially described her alleged sexual relationship with Hawkins as consensual. However, Keene claimed in the petition for a domestic violence protection order that Hawkins "raped" her in July 2011, when she was 17.
While it is The Inter-Mountain's practice not to name victims of alleged sexual assault, Keene has asked to go on record.
On June 15, after declining for weeks to comment about the situation, Hawkins took to his personal Facebook page to deny Keene's allegations.