PARKERSBURG - A Wood County man charged with possession of child pornography waived a preliminary hearing Friday in Wood County Magistrate Court.
Dennis J. Burke, 50, Parkersburg, was charged last week with possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with intent to deliver.
Last week, Burke was released on a $30,000 bond after his arraignment before Magistrate Emily Bradley.
Burke waived the preliminary hearing before Magistrate Joyce Purkey and his case is now in bound-over status in circuit court for consideration of an indictment by a future grand jury.
On Friday, five women staged a protest in front of the Wood County Magistrate Court building on Avery Street to protest the bond amount.
Tracy Schultheisz said she and the others were protesting that a $30,000 bond was too low for the crimes with which he is charged. She said they realize individuals are entitled to bond when they are charged with a crime, but they think the bond should be much higher.
Schultheisz said it was her understanding Burke was facing many charges.
Burke's bond was eligible to be set in magistrate court since there were no capital offenses, such as armed robbery or murder. Under West Virginia law, on those offenses the person charged is remanded to custody until bond can be set in a hearing before a circuit court judge.
Wood County Circuit Court Judge J.D. Beane said bond set in magistrate court is at the discretion of the magistrate.
"The magistrates consider a variety of factors in setting a bond," he said. "They consider ties to the community and family, the crime in the charge and the defendant's background and if that person has a criminal record."
Beane said bond can be increased after an indictment.