Kanawha prosecutor plays getaway driver

By Audrey Holsclaw | Dec 19, 2005

Bill Charnock

MORGANTOWN -- A Monongalia County man claims he was assaulted at the West Virginia University-Virginia Tech football game this fall and that Kanawha County Prosecutor Bill Charnock drove the man who assaulted him to the hospital.

Joseph Wickline alleges that Jeffrey L. Johns Jr. broke a beer bottle over his head and punched him in the face during a brawl Oct. 1 in the Blue Lot of Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Though the fight took place on Oct. 1, Johns was not arrested until Dec. 9 on a battery charge. He was released pending trial after he posted a $500 bond.

Charnock has not been accused of a crime and later told the police he left the scene of the incident to take Johns to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Three witnesses saw the fight that took place next to Charnock's silver Volvo in the Blue Lot, a hot-spot tailgating area during games. Following the alleged assault, Johns got into the Volvo and Charnock drove him away.

Later, in the emergency room of Ruby Memorial Hospital, Wickline saw Johns.

Because Charnock and Johns were not at the scene following the assault, police later located Johns and Charnock's wife, Kelly, at the Dairy Mart on Van Voorhis Road. At 6 p.m., state troopers spotted Johns and Charnock, and Johns admitted to the police "he was involved in the brawl in the blue lot of the stadium," according to the complaint.

Joseph Wickline has no listed address, and it is not for certain if he is from the area. There are other family members listed in Morgantown. No charges have been filed against Joseph Wickline, according to the county clerk.

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