CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Monday’s hearing for Joseph A. Buffey may not have been the end of the Clarksburg man’s long process of trying to clear his name in a rape and robbery case.
And to draw from a Winston Churchill quote, it may not have been even the beginning of the end. But it likely was the end of the beginning.
Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell allowed Buffey to withdraw the guilty pleas that Buffey entered in early 2002 during a hearing Monday morning.
And with defense attorneys Michael Hissam of Bailey & Glasser and Allan Karlin, and prosecutors Dave Romano and James Armstrong, in agreement, the judge then tentatively granted Buffey’s release on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond, with home confinement as a condition.
However, Buffey didn’t walk out of the courthouse a free man. Harrison County home confinement deputies first must inspect the home in which Buffey would live while his case is playing out during the term of court that ends in April.
But no longer convicted, Buffey was transferred from the custody of Division of Corrections officers and was to be held in the North Central Regional Jail pending approval of home confinement.
Buffey now goes back to square one in the case where an elderly woman was robbed and sexually assaulted in November 2001, facing the original indictment…