CHARLESTON – In the year before his indictment in the DUI death of his friend, a Pocahontas County man was charged with a variety of criminal offenses including, ironically, aiding and abetting a fugitive.
The year 1998 is one Shawn Wesley Buzzard would probably like to forget. In addition to a fatal car wreck on Nov. 16 that resulted in the death of Christopher Troy Holstein, Buzzard was charged on three separate occasions in the nine months leading up to that night.
According to court records, St. Albans Police Officer H. L. Clark charged Buzzard with public intoxication on Feb. 11. The only details of the event say Buzzard was found near the L & M Mart on the corner of Kanawha Terrace and Washington Street.
The case against Buzzard was dismissed on Feb. 17 when he was sent to CARES for treatment.
About four months later, St. Albans police responded to a domestic call at 224 Cody Street on June 2. Upon arriving at the scene, Officer M. A. Gilbert was informed by Nicole Holstein that Buzzard refused to leave her apartment.
After she called the police, Holstein said Buzzard did leave, but not before shoving her. Nicole Holstein is in no way related to Christopher Holstein.
Records show Buzzard pled guilty to a charge of battery on Oct. 21. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail which was suspended.
Instead, he received 6 months unsupervised probation which included domestic violence counseling at the YWCA, and pay a fine of $67 and court costs. When Buzzard failed to pay the fine, the Court executed a writ of garnishment against him on March 19, 1999.
Records show he paid his fine in full on Jan. 13, 2005.
On Aug. 17, Buzzard was in trouble again. This time as an apparent result of not being forthcoming concerning the whereabouts of a relative who was wanted by police.
According to court records, West Virginia State Police Trooper First Class G.A. Martin was searching for Buzzard's cousin, Phillip W. Cyrus Jr. ,at an address he had listed in Cross Lanes. Cyrus, court records show, at the time was "a fugitive from justice in Monroe County, WV and Boone County, KY."
Upon arriving at the address, Martin found Buzzard. Though much of Martin's narrative is not contained in the court file, he placed Buzzard under arrest after his apparent dissatisfaction with Buzzard's answers, and finding a small amount of marijuana on Buzzard's possession.
According to court records, Buzzard was charged with providing false information to a police officer and possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana, both misdemeanors, and aiding and abetting a fugitive, a felony. Magistrate Pete Lopez set Buzzard's bail at $1,000, which was posted by Cyrus' wife, Danae.
Court records show Danae Cyrus' listed her address at the time as Box 5, Roncerverte in Greenbrier County.
At his preliminary hearing, Buzzard waived his right a single prosecution on the charges, and asked that both misdemeanors be moved to the Magistrate Court docket. Court records show those charges were eventually dismissed on March 12, 1999.
Over two years later, on March 23, 2001, records show Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles E. King dismissed the aiding and abetting charge due to the delay in the state presenting the case to the grand jury. A month later, Buzzard entered into a plea agreement to a misdemeanor charge that he contributed to the death of Christopher Holstein while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Kanawha Magistrate Court, Case Nos. 98-M-1662 (public intoxication), 98-M-6816 (battery), 10013 (false information) and 10014 (possession of marijuana)
Kanawha Circuit Court, Case No. 98-F-1089 (aiding and abetting a fugitive)