MORGANTOWN—Brandon White, 28, of Masontown, was convicted of two felonies — second-degree robbery and grand larceny — following a Monongalia County Circuit Court jury trial Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police his motorcycle was stolen on Fairmont Road at the southbound on-ramp of I-79 in Westover. During the jury trial, the victim testified he was on his way home after taking a motorcycle trip to Ohio and stopped in Westover to eat.
The victim made his way back to the I-79 on-ramp, where the victim was cut-off by White. The victim described White as wearing an off-white shirt with the Pagan Motorcycle Club logo, dark-colored jeans, boots, a full helmet and dark sunglasses.
White stopped his motorcycle in front of the victim, who then also stopped. The victim said White began yelling at him, saying the victim “wasn’t supposed to be here” and also that motorcyclists are not supposed to pass members of the Pagan Motorcycle Club.
The victim said he was confused by White’s statements, but chose not to drive away in fear of being chased by White, physically harmed or being confronted by other club members.
Following the confrontation, the victim said White got on the victim’s bike, saying it now belonged to him. White then drove away on the victim’s motorcycle, leaving behind his own. The victim’s motorcycle had several of his belongings and cell phone attached when it was stolen.
The victim walked back to the Advanced Auto Parts store in Westover and called 911. Officer Justice Carver went to meet with the victim, and while there learned the Marion County Sheriff’s Department was on the scene of a motorcycle crash involving the victim’s bike near a Little General’s store in Marion County. The driver was identified as White.
Carver took the victim to the location of White’s motorcycle, where Carver found a baton with the Pagan Motorcycle Club symbol. Carver also found two license plates with the bike, including the one that was attached, but neither were registered to White’s motorcycle.
During opening statements, defense attorney Michael Safcsak said there was insufficient evidence to convict White. Safcsak said lack of evidence included that the helmet the victim said White was wearing was not recovered and DNA evidence was never collected from the victim’s motorcycle.
Assistant prosecuting attorney Stephen Fitz disagreed, saying there was sufficient evidence to identify White as the one who stole the victim’s motorcycle.
The first witness to testify was former Little General manager Kathy Vincent, who pulled footage of White with the victim’s motorcycle from security cameras. The victim pointed out several modifications made to the motorcycle in screenshots from the video, which proved it was his motorcycle. His description of the person who stole his bike also matched what was seen in the video footage.
Fitz requested White be held without bail pending sentencing, which Judge Phillip Gaujot accepted.