Trial continued for WCH man charged with abduction

By Ashley Bunton - and Ryan Carter



A 30-year-old Washington Court House man appeared in court Monday and asked for his bond to be reduced on charges that include abduction and tampering with evidence.

Joseph P. Simmons was transferred from the Fayette County Jail to the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas for a final hearing on third-degree felony charges of abduction and tampering with evidence, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Trial was set for Dec. 28 but Simmons’ defense attorney , Kristina Oesterle, asked for a continuance and the trial date was moved to January.

Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said the parties are waiting for the lab results from alleged methamphetamine and said case discovery will be complete once the lab results return, which could be as early as next week.

Judge Steven Beathard asked if there was any resolution pending in the case. Oesterle said there was an offer made by the state, but that Simmons plans to take the case to trial.

Addressing Simmons’ $10,000 bond, Oesterle said Simmons has served 16 days in the Fayette County Jail and if released would be living with his mother.

“He’s willing to check in with the court on a daily basis,” said Oesterle.

“We believe the bond is set accordingly in this case and the state asks for the bond to stay the same,” said Weade.

Beathard reduced bond to $5,000 cash/surety or $1,000 own-recognizance.

Simmons, shackled and padlocked, was then conveyed back to the Fayette County Jail at the conclusion of the hearing.

The charges stem from an incident alleged to have occurred Oct. 17 at720 Broadway St. in Washington C.H.

According to reports, a woman went to the Washington Police Department to report a domestic violence incident. Reports said the woman was “very emotional and had multiple visual signs of being assaulted with bruises on her body.”

The alleged victim told police that her live-in boyfriend, Simmons, became angry with her on Oct. 13 after she had taken meth and a meth pipe that allegedly belonged to Simmons and threw it out, reports said. Simmons reportedly confronted the woman, who ran out of the house.

According to reports, Simmons grabbed the woman, pulled her to the ground and attempted to carry her inside the house. She told police that she continued to try to get away, but Simmons kept throwing her to the ground. She also said she screamed for help while outside, reports said.

Once they were inside the residence, Simmons allegedly slammed her head against the wall and threw her to the floor while making threats he was going to kill her if she left, reports said. She said she wasn’t able to call for help because Simmons reportedly broke her phone in the process.

The woman informed police that Simmons made her take a shower with him so she could not be by herself and try to leave. Once in the shower, the woman said she attempted to grab a towel and run for the front door, but as she opened the front door, Simmons allegedly closed the door on her hand, causing small lacerations. Simmons again allegedly pushed her to the ground and then stomped on her foot.

When their children arrived home on the school bus, the woman said Simmons would not allow her to get the kids off of the bus. “He held the door open while the kids ran in and prevented her from getting the attention of the bus driver,” the report states.

The woman told police that Simmons held her against her will all weekend “because she needed to earn his trust before she could leave and their children were present,” reports said.

Then on Oct. 17, the alleged victim said she saw another pipe and another container of meth in the home, which caused an argument. She was able to get out of the house and get a ride to the police department.

After she spoke to police, a warrant for the arrest of Simmons was issued. Three officers went to 720 Broadway St. to make contact with Simmons. He arrived in a vehicle as officers were getting ready to leave the residence, reports said.

An officer ordered Simmons to exit the vehicle and as he did, he allegedly threw an item underneath the vehicle. Police found a clear container with a crystal-like substance inside.

Simmons was arrested on the domestic violence warrant. As he was searched, officers found a small baggie of marijuana and a marijuana grinder, according to reports.

The crystal-like substance field tested positive for methamphetamine and the narcotics have been sent to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The new trial date in the case is now set for Jan. 17.


By Ashley Bunton

and Ryan Carter

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton