Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 16, 2010

Candidate for sheriff arrested

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD –  A longtime member of the local law enforcement community who is running for Mercer County Sheriff was arrested Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged assault on March 21.

Charles “Butch” Blizzard, 69, of Bluefield appeared before Magistrate Marva Crouch and was released after posting a $10,000 bond. Blizzard has been charged on felony counts of malicious wounding and wanton endangerment, and a misdemeanor charge of telephone harassment.

The Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police is investigating. According to the complaint filed by Corporal A.H. Young, the alleged incident occurred March 21 when Blizzard drove to Red Oak Ridge Road near Bluewell where William Keith Wilson, no age or address given, was parked in his Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. Wilson told investigators that Blizzard got out of his vehicle and approached the driver’s side of the truck, then asked Wilson who he was. Wilson said he replied to Blizzard he knew his identity. He said Blizzard then asked if he had a weapon inside his vehicle.

Wilson said that when he replied that he didn’t carry any weapons with him, Blizzard “produced a silver revolver, cocked back the hammer of the weapon, pointed the weapon at the victim and informed the victim that he would kill him,” Young stated in the report. Wilson said he was punched in the face with the revolver, inflicting a cut above his right eye and received five stitches at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

Afterwards, Blizzard allegedly called the home of the victim’s girlfriend and left a message on her answering machine, Young said.

The alleged message was as follows: “Hey Robin, if you’re ever near this phone you (expletive) you  better keep Jesse away from that (expletive, expletive) no good son (expletive.) I’m going to kill him the next time he comes up here or she pulls any (expletive) tricks. Call me and talk to me about this you hussy (expletive.)”

Wilson was dating the former wife of Blizzard’s nephew, said First Sgt. V.S. Deeds with the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

After the arraignment in Bluefield, attorney Kenneth Chittum, who is representing Blizzard, would not allow his client to make any statements to the media. However, he did make a statement of his own.

“My opinion is that he’s in the middle of this sheriff’s race. He’s ahead in the polls and they are using this to try to defeat him,” Chittum said.

Chittum added Blizzard will remain in the race for sheriff and will keep campaigning.

“Mr. Blizzard is still running and he hopes he wins,” Chittum said later.

Thursday’s charge will not affect Blizzard’s candidacy, said Dave Nichols, elections divisions manager at the Secretary of State’s Office.

However, if convicted of the charges, Blizzard would not be allowed to hold office, Nichols said, citing state code which holds that only those who are entitled to vote may hold state, county and municipal offices, and individuals convicted of a felony are not entitled to vote.

Samantha Perry and Charles Owens contributed to this story.