Upshur County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Keadle denied bond for three men involved in what police are calling a murder-for-hire plot, saying the seriousness of the offense and the risk to public safety requires the men to remain behind bars.
The attorney for Rodolpho Correa Villagomez, 32, of Buckhannon, sought Thursday to have the accessory before the fact of first-degree murder charge dismissed. Russell Stobbs said the arrest warrant does nothing but show Villagomez gave money to Jesse Lee Heater, 28, of Buckhannon, at some point after Joshua Oberg was reported missing.
Oberg's remains were found buried in a shallow grave along Bull Run Road on Monday, shortly after West Virginia State Police investigators received information about the location. Heater was taken into custody that evening. Villagomez was arrested on Tuesday.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Rodolpho Correa Villagomez, 32, of Buckhannon, is denied bond Thursday afternoon by Circuit Court Judge Thomas Keadle and remanded to the custody of the regional jail authority. Villagomez is charged with a felony count of accessory before the fact of first-degree murder.
Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Reger asked that Villagomez be held without bond because Reger had learned from federal authorities that Villagomez is not an American citizen, and that federal agents had seized 15 guns from Villagomez' residence. Reger would not comment on if the seizing of the weapons by federal authorities was related to the current case.
Court documents list the defendant's last name as Correa, while a news release issued earlier this week by the West Virginia State Police list his last name as Villagomez.
Bond also was denied for Heater, whom police alleged killed Oberg and later received a "substantial" amount of cash. Investigators have not released a motive for the events that may have led to Oberg's death. Oberg had been reported missing Jan. 27, having been last seen four days earlier.
Heater, whom Reger said has two previous felony convictions dating back to 2003, is facing a first-degree murder charge. Both he and Villagomez are being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Bond also was denied for Robert Eugene Siron III, 30, of Weston, who is facing a first-degree murder charge. He is being held in the Northcentral Regional Jail, after Reger asked that he remained separated from the other two defendants.
Siron's attorney, Dennis Willet, argued that a reasonable bond be set for Siron because the allegations against him are "very sparse to sustain a charge of first-degree murder." Reger said that Siron has a previous felony conviction for burglary.
According to the criminal complaint, Siron said he was an eyewitness to Heater killing Oberg, and Siron received cash from Heater after those events.
The three men are scheduled to appear next week for a preliminary hearing in Upshur County Magistrate Court to determine if there is enough evidence to hand them over for grand jury consideration. Heater is slated to appear before Magistrate Juanita Adams at 9:30 a.m. Monday, and Siron at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Villagomez will make his appearance at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.
The next term of the grand jury begins Sept. 10.
Contact John Wickline by email at email@example.com.