Barbour County Officials Recuse Themselves From Stolen Guitar Ca - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Barbour County Officials Recuse Themselves From Stolen Guitar Case

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PHILIPPI -

Two public officials in Barbour County have announced that they will recuse themselves from a case involving a teenager and some guitars stolen from a church.

Neither Barbour County Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling or Circuit Judge Alan Moats will be involved in the case against Brittany Keene, 18.

Keene was indicted last month on a felony charge of receiving stolen property and a misdemeanor charge of transferring stolen property.  Two guitars were stolen from Haven of Hope Church.  Keene pawned one of them and gave the other one to another person, according to court documents.

The recusals of Poling and Moats came after Keene claimed in a local newspaper that her arrest was in retaliation for accusations of improper conduct she made against Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins.  In a statement, Poling said: "This voluntary recusal is not due to any improper conduct by the Prosecuting Attorney, but rather to remove the appearance of any impropriety towards the defendant."

To date, Hawkins has not commented about the accusations.  The family court proceedings mentioned in the newspaper article are closed to the public.

Keene is out on bond and is under the supervision of the Barbour County Community Corrections Program, according to Poling.

All of this comes after Poling issued a statement in mid May about rumors of Barbour County law enforcement personnel facing charges. 

The Prosecuting Attorney's Institute will appoint a special prosecutor to handle Keene's prosecution and the state supreme court will appoint a judge to fill in for Moats.

Stay with 12 News for more on this story as it unfolds.