Armed robbery, other cases heard in Brooke County

WELLSBURG – A Follansbee man was sentenced on Friday to 20 years for armed robbery while cases against a Follansbee man charged with stabbing his roommate multiple times and a Wheeling woman accused of embezzling at Bethany College were continued.

Ronald DiEugene, 23, of Follansbee was sentenced to 20 years for the armed robbery of the Follansbee Subway restaurant on March 11.

First Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson ordered DiEugene serve the sentence consecutive with the remainder of a one-year to 15-year sentence he received for burglary in 2010. DiEugene had been paroled after serving about 18 months of the sentence before the Subway robbery occurred.

His parole has since been revoked, said Brooke County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III, who presented the case.

Follansbee Police who investigated the robbery said a Subway employee was leaving through a rear door, following a day’s work, when DiEugene appeared with a knife, forced her back inside and robbed about $420 from the business.

Attorneys for David Roland Hoffman, 45, of Follansbee and Shelly Lough, 46, of Wheeling also appeared Friday with Barki for status hearings for their cases.

Barki told Wilson a court-ordered mental evaluation has determined Hoffman is competent to recognize his criminal responsibility and the case may be resolved through a plea agreement.

The prosecutor said the Brooke County sheriff’s deputy who investigated the matter supports the tentative agreement but input will be sought from the victim, who now lives in Texas.

According to police reports, Hoffman used a butcher knife to stab his roommate multiple times in the torso. The man was transported by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment of the injuries, according to the sheriff’s department.

Hoffman has been held at the Northern Regional Jail since his arrest on May 19. He is being represented by attorney Robert Gaudio.

A status hearing for the case was set for Jan. 24.

Barki also told Wilson a plea agreement is pending for Lough. The prosecutor said he hopes to gain input from Bethany College President Scott Miller before submitting the proposal.

Represented by attorney William Brogan, Lough waived her right to a trial during the present court term.

A status hearing was set for March 7.

According to court documents, Lough allegedly embezzled thousands of dollars while working at the college’s cashier’s office, where she was involved in cashing payroll and personal checks from staff members and students.

College officials said they suspected Lough and moved her into another department, where she didn’t handle money, before she confessed to the thefts.

Lough told the sheriff’s department she stole the money to pay two individuals who were extorting her. According to court documents, the two threatened to share sexually explicit photos and text messages involving her to her husband.

Barki said the extortion matter is under investigation and charges may be filed.

In other business, Christopher S. Johnson, 42, of Harrison County, Ohio, waived his right to extradition, pending resolution of charges against him in Brooke County Magistrate Court.

Johnson was arrested on Dec. 28 by Weirton Police on charges of driving under the influence and obstructing an officer and on a fugitive from justice warrant from Harrison County.

According to court documents, Johnson was being held on charges of probation violation and forgery when he was cleaning the Harrison County sheriff’s office and escaped through a rear gate that malfunctioned and didn’t close properly.

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