A Buckhannon man allegedly involved in a murder-for-hire plot appeared in Randolph County Magistrate Court after being accused of sexually harassing another inmate at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Jessie Lee Heater, 29, has been lodged in the TVRJ since authorities arrested him on murder charges July 24, 2012, after unearthing the body of 29-year-old Joshua Oberg from a shallow grave along Bull Run Road in Upshur County. In January, an Upshur County grand jury indicted Heater on murder charges, along with one felony count of concealment of a deceased human body and two counts of felony conspiracy.
On Feb. 22, Heater, who is being held without bond, was charged with first-degree sexual assault, a felony. His preliminary hearing had been slated for Friday afternoon; however, Chief Magistrate Rob Elbon granted a state motion for continuance.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the magistrate clerk's office, on Jan. 31, Trooper J.B. Tindal with the Elkins detachment of the West Virginia State Police was dispatched to the TVRJ to investigate a sexual abuse complaint, where he obtained a statement from the alleged male victim. The alleged victim told Tindal that on several occasions, Heater allegedly exposed himself while the victim was playing cards, and on one occasion, used the handle of a broomstick to nudge him in the buttocks.
"The victim advised that (Heater) would tickle him and try to pull his pants down," Tindal wrote. "The victim further advised that on another occasion, (Heater) picked him up by his neck until his passed out."
The alleged harassment began Dec. 15, 2012, and has been ongoing, the victim told Tindal, the complaint states.
"The victim advised that he had been reporting the abuse, via request forms, but it took a long time for something to be done about it," Tindal wrote in the criminal complaint.
Tindal interviewed several inmate witnesses, including one who told him that Heater "always runs up and pinches the victim" and exposed himself to the victim while the victim was playing cards.
On Friday, Heater's attorney, James Hawkins, verified that his client is the same Jessie Heater who's been indicted on murder charges in Upshur County.
"That's what he's been accused of," Hawkins said of the murder charges Friday in magistrate court. Heater and his codefendant, Robert Eugene Siron III, 30, will stand trial on those charges at 9 a.m. April 30 in Upshur County.
West Virginia State Police investigators have testified they believe Rodolpho "Chino" Correa Villagomez, of Buckhannon, paid Heater $5,000 to kill Oberg after Villagomez learned Oberg had become romantically involved with Villagomez' wife, according to previous reports.