PARKERSBURG - A Parkersburg man, charged with robbery of a store that was recently raided by city police, blamed his recent trouble on a free sample of bath salts.
"At this time I sit in the North Central Regional Jail charged basically with attempting to steal 'bath salt' from the same people that gave me the free sample and got me addicted to this mind-altering drug," David D. Jeffrey wrote in a three-page statement he gave to The News and Sentinel Monday.
Jeffrey, 47, was in Wood County Magistrate Court Monday to waive his preliminary hearing on charge of first-degree robbery. The Parkersburg man was apprehended in St. Albans last week after a warrant was issued for him for the attempted robbery of the M&K Novelties Shop on Murdoch Avenue.
Photo by Jody Murphy
David Jeffrey sits in Wood County Magistrate Court Monday awaiting his preliminary hearing on a first-degree robbery charge. Jeffrey’s attorney, Rolf Baumgartel, waived the hearing, and Jeffrey was remanded back to the North Central Regional Jail. His case was bound over to the grand jury. Prior to his hearing, Jeffrey handed The News and Sentinel a three-page letter about his use of bath salts.
Prior to his proceeding in front of Wood County Magistrate Robin Waters, Jeffrey handed The News and Sentinel a written statement. Jeffrey claimed he was offered a free sample of the salts by a clerk at the M&K Novelties shop. Jeffrey claims the clerk offered him a free sample of "what she said was an energy drink,"
"She said to mix it in warm water and drink it," he wrote. "It turns out this free sample energy drink was a very addictive, mind-altering drug called bath salt.
"When I drank it I instantly wanted/needed more."
Jeffrey said the small, tea bag-sized salts, costs $75.
"I spent a great deal of money of the next few weeks," he wrote. "...They had me addicted -and my mind lost all control of any rational thought process. I became extremely paranoid and delusional."
In his appearance in magistrate court, Jeffrey said prior to a few weeks ago he hadn't been in legal trouble in about a decade.
"I've done drugs," he admitted. "But nothing like this.
"I've never experienced anything like that in my life."
While under the influence of the drug, Jeffrey said he experienced paranoid delusions.
"I saw blue (police lights) everywhere," he said. "I could look at those sprinkler heads and see a sniper rifle."
Jeffrey said his use of the salts lasted about three weeks when he attempted to steal the stuff from the novelties shop.
According to witness statements, Jeffrey approached a female clerk around 10:30 a.m.. He jumped over the counter and attempted to steal merchandise from her, police said. The clerk was able to fight off the suspect, and he fled without any items from the store, according to police. Jeffrey was captured in St. Albans about a week later.
M&K Novelties was one of three stores raided by Parkersburg police last week.
The store's owner, Mitchell Ray Townsend, 23, was charged with one felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, police said. In the past month, undercover agents made two purchases of controlled substances, identified as illegal variations of K2, police said. During the search, police seized a large amount of cash and several hundred packages of substances that had previously been identified by the crime lab as an illegal variation of K2. Also recovered were hundreds of containers of a white powdery substance that will be sent to the crime lab for testing, officials said.
Jeffrey did not make bail. He case was bound over to Wood County Circuit Court and he was remanded back to the North Central Regional Jail.
Jeffrey said if he hadn't been offered the free sample, he wouldn't be in this situation.
"I never meant to hurt anyone," he said.