A Barbour County man is no longer a West Virginia State Trooper following his arrest on a driving under the influence charge in Upshur County.
While off duty, James Cornelius, 32, of Belington, was arrested by Buckhannon Police on February 23, according to court documents.
Just after midnight on February 23, Buckhannon Police received a report of a car being involved in an accident on Leggett Addition, near the Harbor Freight store, according to Cornelius’ criminal complaint. The caller told police that a black car had run off the road, hit a fence and was trying to leave the scene, the complaint said.
A Buckhannon police officer saw a black car, with a muddy tire and minor damage, pull onto Route 20 and pulled the car over, court documents said.
While talking with Cornelius the officer said he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, noticed that his speech was slurred and that he was “uncoordinated getting his license,” according to the criminal complaint.
That officer and two others then investigated the accident and found that damage had been done to two fence posts along the right side of Leggett Addition, documents said.
Following the accident investigation, Cornelius was asked to step out of his car and was given three field sobriety tests. He “showed impairment” on all three tests and was then given a breath test, which he failed, the officer said.
According to a West Virginia State Police spokesperson, Cornelius in no longer employed by the State Police.
Last year, Cornelius was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal by the State Police, after fighting off a fugitive who tried to drown him in Mill Creek in March 2016. Nathaniel Wegman, the fugitive who attacked Cornelius was found guilty of attempted murder and is serving a prison sentence in the Saint Marys Correctional Center.