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Man arrested in Dec. 15 shooting facing forgery, uttering charges after allegedly providing police with a false name

BUCKHANNON – A Virginia man is being charged with two additional felonies after he reportedly submitted a false name to law enforcement and Upshur County Magistrate Court officials after being arrested for allegedly shooting another man last week.

Lavar Anthony O’Neal, 39, of Newport News, Virginia, told Upshur County Sheriff’s deputies his name was Marvin Sills after being arrested on a malicious wounding charge for allegedly shooting a man, Zachary Crawford, in the leg and foot following an altercation Tuesday, Dec. 15.

In addition to the original charges – malicious wounding, a felony, and fleeing from an officer on foot, a misdemeanor – O’Neal is being charged with two additional felonies, forgery and uttering, documents in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office show.

According to criminal complaints in the magistrate clerk’s office filed by Sgt. Rodney Rolenson with the Upshur County Sheriff’s office, O’Neal had allegedly been involved in an altercation on Wabash Avenue in Buckhannon during which “a handgun was discharged.”

The file says O’Neal, who told police his name was Marvin Sills, allegedly admitted to “discharging the handgun,” which resulted in the victim, Crawford, suffering a gunshot wound in the leg and foot area.

O’Neal initially fled when assisting officer Sgt. Dewaine Linger identified himself as a law enforcement officer, but was later apprehended, the file says.

In a separate criminal complaint filed Dec. 17, Rolenson wrote that O’Neal “unlawfully and intentionally provided a false name to officers.”

“[O’Neal] was essentially arraigned and booked into jail under this (false) name,” Rolenson wrote in the complaint. The file also indicates O’Neal may have used the name of a man he was living with or had lived with in the past.

The report says O’Neal signed Sills’s name to Upshur County Magistrate Court documents and “uttered” – or passed them off – to be his own.

Rolenson was later able to confirm with the FBI Fingerprint Division and West Virginia State Police that “the defendant [was] not who he portrayed himself to be.”

Upshur County Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $25,000 cash only on the forgery charge, $25,000 cash only on the uttering charge, $75,000 cash only on the malicious wounding charge and $2,500 personal recognizance on the fleeing charge for a total of $127,500.

According to Lisa Wharton, vice president for marketing and public relations with St. Joseph’s Hospital, the victim has been released from the hospital.

The penalty for a conviction of both forgery and uttering is confinement in the state penitentiary for one to 10 years on each charge, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine not to exceed $500.

The penalty for a conviction of malicious wounding is imprisonment for two to 10 years in the state penitentiary, and the penalty for a conviction of fleeing from an officer on foot is a fine of $50 to $500, confinement in jail for up to one year or both.

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