POINT PLEASANT — A former Mason County School Board Member sentenced to serving time for selling a passing GED test in exchange for money, has been granted a release from jail to serve her sentence on home confinement.
Back in June, Teresa Warner, 53, Point Pleasant, was sentenced to not less than one year in jail and no more than 10 years after she pleaded guilty to one felony count of bribery as part of a plea agreement. Warner was sentenced by Judge Thomas C. Evans, III, who at the time of Warner’s sentencing, rejected the idea of placing her on home confinement and stated she had brought “disrepute” upon the local government in Mason County and “devalued” every GED legitimately earned by students in Mason County.
Prior to her sentencing earlier this year, Warner stood before Evans to make a statement which began with her “humbly” apologizing to the court and taking full responsibility for her actions.
“I deeply regret that I jeopardized the state GED program,” Warner said, adding she also wanted to publicly apologize to her husband, children, family and friends for the ordeal her case had also put them through.
In September, R. Michael Shaw, Sr., attorney for Warner, filed a motion asking Evans to reconsider Warner’s sentence.
Then, on Oct. 18, Evans filed his order in Mason County Circuit Court, granting Warner’s motion. Evans’ order states the sentence of confinement in the West Virginia Penitentiary was, as of Oct. 18, suspended and Warner is ordered to serve the sentence on home confinement with the Mason County Home Incarceration Program, subject to all of the terms and conditions of such program and such other conditions as set forth in the statutes of the state.
Evans ordered Warner be released from the West Virginia Department of Corrections upon being fully enrolled in the Mason County Home Incarceration Program. Failure to fully enroll in this program will result in Warner no longer being allowed to serve her time on home confinement. It isn’t known what “fully enroll” in this program means as it relates specifically to Warner’s case. In general terms, home confinement could mean wearing a monitoring device, having no alcohol, illegal drugs or guns on the premises of the confinement, participation in a community work release or community service program, etc. Again, Warner must meet her specific criteria before she can be released.
Warner began her sentence at the Western Regional Jail and was later moved to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in Belington. As of Monday evening, Warner remained listed as an inmate currently housed at Tygart Valley Regional Jail though that could change by the time this newspaper hits the stands. Again, her release is dependant upon meeting the criteria of the home confinement program.
Evans’ order also noted the State of West Virginia stood silent regarding the motion and did not object to the court granting the motion. This case was prosecuted by Special Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia who is the Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney.