The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

September 15, 2006

Grand jury’s indictments announced

FAYETTEVILLE — For whatever reason, vans seemed to play a serendipitously prominent role as the getaway conveyance of choice in this month’s Fayette County grand jury indictments, Prosecutor Carl Harris quipped.

Of the 46 indictments returned by the grand jury late Wednesday afternoon, the three Harris considered the most intriguing or bizarre involved the use of a van.

“This case is so bizarre,” he said of first-degree robbery charges against Jeffrey A. Evans Jr. and Harry C. Coleman.

According to Harris, the pair stole a van in June from a parking lot at WVU Tech after unsuccessfully attempting to retrieve something from a safe. They allegedly made their way to Smithers and robbed an Exxon station at gunpoint.

They were taken into custody in Fayetteville, Harris said, where Evans escaped and stole another van from the Fayette County Board of Education. He was later picked up on W.Va. 61.

“That is the most unique case this term,” Harris added. “It’s just kind of crazy.”

In addition to each man’s robbery charge, Evans is accused of breaking and entering, two counts of grand larceny, escape from custody, fleeing in a vehicle, fleeing on foot, and assaulting a police officer. Coleman faces charges of breaking and entering and grand larceny.

In a separate case, Anthony J. Vargas is said to have stolen — you guessed it — a van from Southern Appalachian Labor School in Page. After wrecking the vehicle in Oak Hill, knowing that police were on their way, Vargas allegedly jumped into a woman’s car and insisted that she drive him somewhere.

Vargas now stands accused of kidnapping, grand larceny, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

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The three suspects mentioned above, as well as those listed below, face arraignments next Friday, Sept. 22.

The following individuals are to report at 9 a.m. before Circuit Judge John Hatcher in the courtroom of the Fayette County Courthouse.

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