Defense: No evidence of robbery

PARKERSBURG – Testimony in the Wood County Circuit Court robbery trial of Matthew Edward Depew, 21, and Amber Nicole Pickens, 27, both of Parkersburg, continued Wednesday along with arguments without the jury regarding evidence to be presented.

Attorney Courtney Alhborn, representing Depew, said the state has failed to present any evidence of a robbery. She stated Depew was acting in the defense of others.

According to the defense, Depew and Pickens did not try to rob Homer Wilson but he had solicited Pickens and Depew was trying to get her away from Wilson.

Alhborn said the defense wants to present evidence on the reputation and the character of Wilson, stating Wilson is allegedly known to solicit sex acts.

Judge Robert Waters said some of the claims about Wilson may be too long ago and would be more prejudicial than probative. He said it would be doubtful the evidence could be used.

Waters asked the state if plea agreements had been presented to Depew and Pickens.

Assistant Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said Pickens was offered an agreement to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery with probation and testimony against Depew. He said Depew was offered a plea of guilty to robbery and the sentence capped at 15 years.

Depew and Pickens said they understood the proposed agreements and rejected them.

Testimony is to resume today at 9:30 a.m.

In other hearings Wednesday:

* Samuel Edward Dotson, 43, 830 Main St., Belpre, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent use of an access device. Judge Jeffrey Reed sentenced him to seven years in jail, for each count with counts one and four to be served concurrently and count eight to served consecutively to the first two counts with credit for 240 days served. The sentences were suspended for three years probation. All other counts were dismissed.

* Dale R. Thorn, 47, 893 Dry Run Road, Parkersburg, appeared for a bond reduction from $70,000 with home confinement and was denied. He is in custody after his June arrest on a charge of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab.