West Virginia Record

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Former Cabell magistrate candidate arrested second time on drug charges

By Lawrence Smith | Nov 5, 2009

HUNTINGTON - A former Cabell County magisterial candidate, and daughter of a former Cabell Circuit judge, has again been arrested on drug charges.

Amy Walker Daugherty Irwin was charged Nov. 1 with one count of possession of a controlled substance. Irwin, 42, was charged after Huntington police spotted her seated in her Honda Civic "outside a known crack house" near the corner of 17th Street and Dalton Avenue, and "with a known drug addict named Ronnie Smith in her car."

In the criminal complaint filed in Cabell Magistrate Court, Lt. J.T. Combs said when he approached Irwin and Smith in the Civic he noticed "a small piece of apparent crack in plastic was laying on her side of the console next to the gear shifter." After the a field test of the substance proved positive for cocaine, Combs placed Irwin under arrest.

After she was arraigned on the charge, Irwin was released on $5,000 bond. According to WSAZ-TV 3, Cabell Magistrate Dan Goheen prohibited the public, including Irwin's family, from entering the courtroom saying he "didn't want to create more of a scene."

Irwin's arrest for possession comes just over a year following a previous drug arrest that came in the course of an unsuccessful bid for magistrate.

On Oct. 21, 2008, Irwin was arrested on the parking lot of the Rite Aid on 16th Street after purchasing .4 grams of crack cocaine from an undercover West Virginia State Trooper. In the course of their sting operation, state police alleged Irwin purchased and delivered crack five times in the previous six months.

In addition to six charges of possession with intent to deliver, Irwin was charged with one count of bribery in official and political matters. After she was placed under arrest, Sgt D.A Booth of the Huntington Police Department, who assisted in the sting, alleged Irwin, who was still known as Daugherty at the time, would pay him money if he released her.

The exact amount of money Irwin allegedly offered Booth is not stated in court records. In July, Daugherty married John Lee Irwin II.

Irwin's arrest came two weeks prior to November's general election in which she was a Democratic candidate for magistrate. As the daughter of Dan Daugherty, a former Cabell Circuit judge, Irwin was a heavy favored to win.

In May's Democratic primary, Irwin was the top vote-getter receiving 7,041 votes in the seven-person race. However, six months later she finished dead last in a field of nine candidates.

Since her initial arrest, Irwin's charges were bound over the Cabell County grand jury, where she is still waiting indictment. Also, five of the six drug charges were dismissed due to a lack of evidence, and Mason County Prosecutor Damon Morgan was appointed as a special prosecutor following Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles' recusal from the case.

As Irwin awaits indictment on the delivery and bribery charges in Cabell Circuit Court, a tentative trial date on the pending possession charge in magistrate court is set for Dec. 23.

Cabell Magistrate Court, case numbers 08-F-1412 (delivery), 08-F-1418 (bribery) and 09-M-6165 (possession)

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