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Motion to get records from DHHR not ruled

KINGWOOD — A motion to compel filed by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Megan Fields to get records from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) was not ruled on during a Wednesday hearing.

Instead, Circuit Judge Stephen Shaffer ordered the attorneys involved to file proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law by Jan. 12.

Shaffer said he would then issue an order.

Fields is seeking records from the DHHR that includes names of individuals who filed alleged child abuse and neglect against Cassandra Diann Sisler, a teacher at Central Preston Middle School in Kingwood. Sisler was arrested in October on four counts of child abuse for allegedly duct-taping a student’s mouth and wrapping his wrists with tape on several occasions.

Fields and Assistant Attorney General Chaelyn Casteel, who represented the DHHR at the hearing, had agreed that the DHHR would provide the referral forms to the prosecutor’s office. The forms do not include the names of the individuals who filed the charges or the names of the children who witnessed the alleged incident.

Sisler’s attorney, Jeff Culpepper of Morgantown, filed two motions but Shaffer didn’t rule on those either. One of the motions was about interviewing the children who witnessed the alleged child abuse, and the other was to allow Sisler to travel out of state.

Wednesday’s hearing had been rescheduled from earlier this month by Shaffer, who said he believed Sisler and her attorney should be present in court during the proceedings.

“A defendant has the right to participate in any court proceeding concerning them,” Shaffer said during last week’s hearing. “I believe Sisler and her attorney should be in court. I don’t know if any other stages will arise from these proceedings. I am going to reschedule and work it in next week. I don’t want anything to come up further down the line. We’ll work it in and get it done before Christmas.”