Sasha R. Banfield, Williamstown, West Virginia (arrested Sept 2012) [obstructing]

Discussion in 'Other Improper Behaviors' started by TMP, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Sasha R. Banfield, 5th-grade teacher at Williamstown Elementary School [Wood County Schools], Williamstown, West Virginia, "charges of obstructing justice, contributing to a minor and being an accessory after the fact of obstructing"

    News & Sentinel: Williamstown teacher faces three misdemeanors (Sept 19 2012)

    Sasha R. Banfield, 39, of Williamstown, is facing charges of obstructing justice, contributing to a minor and being an accessory after the fact of obstructing, said Sgt. Brett Pickens, a spokesman for the Wood County Sheriff's Office. Details surrounding the charges were not released by the sheriff's department Tuesday.

    News and Sentinel: Charges against teacher clarified: Accused of falsely posing as girl’s mother (Sept 20 2012)

    [Sgt. Brett Pickens of the Wood County Sheriff's Department] alleges when [Sasha R. ] Banfield arrived to pick up the juveniles, she "pointed at them and stated, 'Both of you girls are grounded,' which led me to believe that she was the parent of both." Pickens contacted the Williamstown High School Prevention Resource Officer the next day and learned the two were not sisters and Banfield was not the parent of one of the juveniles.

    Marietta Times: Teacher wants charges dropped (Sept 21 2012)

    A lawyer for Sasha Banfield has asked for a case against the Williamstown Elementary School teacher to be dismissed on the grounds police should never have detained a group of juveniles in the first place ... A motion filed this week by Banfield's attorney, Bill Merriman, argues police had no reason to pull over the car in which the two girls were riding. "There was not an articulable reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle involved in the case and any information obtained from such stop is from the fruit of the poisonous tree and should be excluded from the cases and the case dismissed," he said in the motion. Because of this, a second motion asserts "there is not probable cause to arrest the defendant in the criminal complaint" against Banfield, and asks for that case to be immediately dismissed.

    Sasha R. Banfield, Williamstown, West Virginia, Williamstown Elementary School, Wood County Schools, Brett Pickens, Wood County Sheriff's Department
  2. TMP

    TMP Himself

    News and Sentinel: Court dismisses charges against Banfield (Nov 1 2012)

    Charges against a Williamstown teacher/cheerleading coach were dismissed Wednesday in Wood County Magistrate Court ... Wood County Magistrate Robin Waters said Wednesday the charges were dismissed in a motion hearing in her court. Waters said the charges were dismissed because there was no probable cause for the charges. "Her (Banfield's) attorney, Bill Merriman, presented a Supreme Court case that showed the criminal complaint did not have any proof to support the charges," Waters said. "If you do not have the proof for the obstructing charge, then you cannot have the other charges and the charges had to be dismissed."

    Marietta Times: Charges against teacher dropped (Nov 1 2012)
  3. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Although this is a relatively minor case as these things go, it shows the value of retaining an attorney and standing your ground. There is simply no excuse for stopping people without probable cause or articulable suspicion, and then compounding that error by filing a false complaint that can't be proven.

    I've submitted these links to the CATO Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.

    And shame on Sgt. Brett Pickens of the Wood County Sheriff's Department for this bungled case. How many others have you similarly railroaded who couldn't afford the time or money to fight the false charges?