BUCKHANNON – Two Upshur County residents were arrested Monday following a home confinement check during which police allegedly discovered unsanitary conditions, rendering the environment unsafe for a minor who also lives in the same residence.
Katrina L. Hall, 38, and William J. Butcher, 45, both of Buckhannon, were arrested Monday for gross child neglect, a felony; animal cruelty, a misdemeanor; and an open dump violation, a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Tyler Gordon, on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, Gordon assisted Upshur County Home Confinement Officer D. Long on a visit to the residence of Hall, who is subject to home confinement monitoring.
When Long and Gordon arrived at the South Kanawha Street residence, “it was immediately apparent that the residence was in no condition to house Hall’s [juvenile child],” Gordon wrote in the complaint. The police report notes that Hall and Butcher are custodians of the juvenile.
Hall led the officers through various rooms in the residence, and in the couple’s bedroom, Gordon allegedly witnessed food and trash covering the floor, according to the file.
Inside the juvenile’s room, officers allegedly observed trash, open 40-ounce beer bottles, cigarette packaging and other refuse. The residence where the Hall’s child lived allegedly had no heat and unsanitary bathroom conditions.
Additionally, in a third room, officers allegedly found a dog in a cage that hadn’t been cleaned out in numerous days, and the caged dog had no access to food or water. Officers also allegedly discovered more trash and drug paraphernalia out in the open, the complaint says.
“The conditions of the residence pose numerous risks, including serious injury, illness or death to [the juvenile],” Gordon wrote in the report.
He also noted that Hall and Butcher have at least two dogs, and “neither have tags or taxes paid.”
Hall and Butcher were arrested Monday, and bail was set at $30,000 cash only for both Hall and Butcher.
The penalty for a conviction of gross child neglect is a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000, imprisonment in a state penitentiary for one to five years or both.
In addition, the penalty for a conviction of misdemeanor animal cruelty is a fine ranging between $300 and $2,000, confinement in jail for up to six months or both. The penalty for a conviction of violating an open dump law is a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000 or confinement in a regional jail for up to six months.