Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 25, 2013

Former Mercer County teacher facing 18 felony counts waives preliminary hearing

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A former Mercer County teacher and coach facing 18 felony charges waived his right to preliminary hearing Monday morning in Mercer County Magistrate Court.

Jonathan Kirk, 34, of Walton, a former teacher and coach at PikeView High School, is charged with 18 felony charges including multiple counts of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor; use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct; distribution and display to minors of obscene matter; sexual abuse by a parent or custodian; and soliciting a minor via computer, according to an earlier report by Sgt. M.D. Clemons with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police.

By waiving the preliminary hearing the case is automatically bound over to the June session of the Mercer County Grand Jury.

“Mr. Kirk has waived his preliminary so the case can now proceed to the grand jury,” Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis said.

McGinnis said Kirk remains incarcerated on a $100,000 cash only bond. McGinnis said a bond hearing will be held later this week in Mercer County Circuit Court.

McGinnis said defense attorney Wayne Evans requested a waiver of the preliminary hearing in exchange for an early discovery. The early discovery request would make evidence in the case available for the defense at an earlier time. Typically the defense would not be entitled to such evidence until a grand jury indictment is returned, according to McGinnis.

McGinnis said the early discovery request benefits the state by allowing prosecutors to proceed with the case at a quicker pace.

Kirk was remanded back to the custody of the Southern Regional Jail following Monday’s closed-door hearing.

 

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