Bolton’s alternative sentence revoked, one-to-ten-year sentence reinstated

Jacob Earnest Bolton takes an oath before his hearing in Taylor County Circuit Court. (Nicki Skinner/Mountain Statesman)

TAYLOR COUNTY—Continued drug usage causes woes for more Taylor County defendants, causing underlying sentences to be reinstated.

Among those who were sent back to jail was Jacob Earnest Bolton, who was present with his counsel, Dean Morgan during a recent hearing.

During the September 2020 term of the Taylor County Grand Jury, Bolton was indicted for one count of grand larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit a felony. After discussion between his counsel and the state of West Virginia a plea deal was struck.

According to court documents, the defendant agreed to plead guilty to grand larceny, which carried a possible one-to-ten-year sentence.

In return for the guilty plea, the state would recommend that Bolton’s prison sentence be suspended and that he would be placed on the Taylor County Community Corrections Program for its duration.

In addition, the state would also agree to drop count two of the indictment, conspiracy to commit a felony, which carried an additional one-to-five-year penalty.

Ultimately, the court sentenced Bolton in agreement with the plea deal, and he was placed on a alternative sentence through the Taylor County Community Corrections Program.

Because his crime occurred in part due to a drug addiction, Bolton was permitted to enter into the Legends Treatment Center in Princeton on March 8, 2021.

The defendant was able to successfully complete the program on April 5, 2021, but after being released he tested positive on multiple occasions for illegal drug use.

In an April 18, 2022 report submitted by Taylor County Community Corrections Director Tammy Narog, Bolton’s positive drug screenings were outlined. 

Because he had violated the conditions of his alternative sentence, the capias was issued for his arrest the following day, and Bolton was arrested on April 20.

When asked about the allegations presented in the report, Morgan revealed that his client wished to admit to the positive screens. He then petitioned the court to place his client back on the community corrections program, noting that Bolton wished to attend a long-term treatment program.

Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord voiced concerns for the health and safety of Bolton, revealing that the state wish to have the underlying sentence reinstated. 

However, Bord noted that the state would not object to the defendant being given the opportunity to attend a long-term drug abuse program.

Voicing similar concerns for Bolton’s overall health and safety, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Shawn D. Nines Found the Bolton was not an appropriate candidate for alternative sentence, and ordered that his community corrections be revoked and the underlying sentence of not less than one nor more than ten years be reinstated.

Bolton was remanded to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, but Nines further ordered that if the defendant could secure a bed in a long-term substance abuse treatment program, the court would consider allowing him to attend.

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