FAIRMONT — Karen (Glasscock) Morris said her brother, David Glasscock, and his wife, Sandy, were beginning “the best part of their lives” before they were killed in a 2016 crash in White Hall.
Newly retired, they planned on traveling to places like Dollywood with family and friends.
But they were robbed of their dreams for the future on the day of the crash on Oct. 13, 2016.
Ryan Ashley Hubbs, of Ohio, was reported to have stolen a Honda CRV at gunpoint from a CVS in Weston, Lewis County. Police said he was driving the Honda when he ran a red light at the intersection of the Middletown Mall and Middletown Road in White Hall and struck a sedan. David and Sandy, who had a Farmington address, were in the sedan. They died on the scene.
On Oct. 2, 2017, a Marion County felony murder indictment was returned against Hubbs.
However, Hubbs made a motion to dismiss the indictment, and in an April 12, 2018 letter, Marion County 16th Judicial Circuit Judge Patrick N. Wilson wrote that Hubbs’ motion to dismiss the indictment was granted.
A double-jeopardy issue was involved.
Hubbs had entered a guilty plea on the charge of second-degree robbery on Oct. 30, 2017, in Lewis County, and was sentenced to 10 to 18 years incarceration on the robbery charge Nov. 7.
Judge Wilson noted that to effectively prosecute the Marion County charge of felony murder, the underlying felony of robbery would have to be retried.
He wrote that “prosecution of the Marion County felony murder charge became wholly untenable as it would place Mr. Hubbs twice in jeopardy for the same crime and punishment.”
Wilson wrote that “Mr. Hubbs has entered a guilty plea for the lesser included offense of robbery, which has been accepted by the Court on the Lewis County, and on which he has been sentenced — thereby, barring the pursuit of the felony murder charge here in Marion County.”
Last week, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals heard arguments that sought clarification in state law regarding double jeopardy. The high court will accept the case and issue an opinion.
In the wake of the tragic crash and the legal proceedings that have followed, Morris said she wants the public to know about her brother and sister-in-law, their interests and the plans they had for the future — and how they have been denied justice.
Morris said David and Sandy finally had time to do what they wanted, now that they were retired.
“They weren’t working, they were able to go when they wanted to go and able to do what they wanted to do, like a lot of people plan on when they retire,” Morris said.
She said David had worked in the janitorial department at Fairmont State University and Sandy had worked at the Arbors nursing home in Fairmont, also in the janitorial department.
She said they were “very well-liked with all the people they worked with.”
Morris said her brother would always come and help her.
“He was the type of person who would help at any time in any way he could,” she said, noting Sandy was the same way.
Although David and Sandy were described as an “elderly couple” in media reports, Morris said they weren’t that old. David was 64 years old and Sandy was 66 years old.
She said they were looking forward to traveling with her and others.
According to Morris, they also liked to go to auctions and had a little terrier, Chewy. They had six children and “a lot of grandchildren” between them, she said.
Morris said they had been together for more than 20 years, and got married within the last several years at a family reunion on Sandy’s side.
“You never saw one without the other, they were just that close to each other,” Morris said. “They were just having a good time all the time.”
Morris, who lives just up the road from where David and Sandy lived on Grays Run Road across from the Rachel intersection and close to North Marion High School, said the grief over their deaths has not passed.
“Every day, I go past that house and I feel that loss every day I go past there,” she said. “This man (Hubbs) took a big part of my life as well as the rest of our family’s lives.”
Morris had spent the day with David and Sandy, at a cousin’s funeral, the day before they were killed. She values that time with them.
“I was lucky enough that I got to spend the day (with them),” she said.
Morris, meanwhile, was concerned about the communication issues involved in the case. During the recent Supreme Court of Appeals arguments, Karen Villanueva Matkovich, a deputy attorney general who argued the petition in front of the state high court on behalf of the state, agreed that coordination should have been expected between the two counties’ prosecuting attorneys. Matkovich said that Hubbs’ brief and the Circuit Court order throwing out his indictment also pointed out how the prosecutors “should have spoken to each other.”
“Never in any law, in any state, should there be any kind of miscommunication to let a man not be convicted for killing two people and only be convicted for robbery and carjacking,” Morris said. “That is just wrong. I don’t care who didn’t communicate with one another. That’s no excuse for this. They’re not getting justice. We’re not getting justice. The community of White Hall is not. The state of West Virginia is not. He (Hubbs) will be out in 2025 with the rest of his life ahead of him, they (David and Sandy Glasscock) will not.”
Bill Glasscock of Farmington, David’s brother, said “the system definitely failed them, but it didn’t fail Ryan Hubbs. There was a loophole that was possible for him to get away with a double murder, which doesn’t seem right. Even with appeals, he is still going to get off even if they change the law. I think that’s sad and wrong.”
He said “it’s pretty sad to have to drive by” his brother’s house.
Stanley Glasscock of Barrackville, David’s youngest brother, echoed his brother Bill’s comments.
“Our judicial system totally let my brother and sister-in-law down. They didn’t have any justice at all.”
He recalled their kind natures.
“They were good people,” he said. “They would do anything for everybody. Dave had a good, kind heart. He would help you out. All you had to do was ask.” He said Sandy was also generous in this way.
He hopes the law is changed so no one else has to go through what he and his siblings are enduring.
“ I think they should reverse the law, rewrite the law,” he said. “This man is going to get away with murder. Even if they change it now, it’s not going to do any good for this case. It needs to be changed so this doesn’t happen to someone else.”
Morris said Stanley worked at NAPA on Route 73 in White Hall, just down the road from where the crash occurred.
He and all the employees went out when they heard the crash and Stanley watched “the whole thing unfold right in front of him.” She said it’s caused him nightmares.
She said he didn’t know his brother and sister-in-law were killed in the crash.
Morris said the family didn’t find out until 8 p.m. that night, when a neighbor, who found out about the crash from another neighbor, told her.
She said they watched the 6 p.m. TV news, not even knowing their brother and sister-in-law had been killed.
In addition, Morris said they weren’t told her brother and sister-in-law were being taken to the coroner in Charleston, so they couldn’t get pay their respects to “get a little bit of closure that night.”