CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Friday affirmed the convictions of three different men from the north central West Virginia area found guilty of sex crimes.
Markley is currently in the Northern Correctional Facility in Moundsville, West Virginia serving a 10-20 year sentence for charges of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person in a position of trust to a child and first degree sexual abuse.
He petitioned for a resentencing, arguing that “he, ‘an elderly man in declining health,’ should have received alternative sentencing” and that the crimes ‘occurred in the distant past,’ according to court documents.
The Court of Appeals noted that Markley was 65 years old when he pleaded guilty to the charges in 2015, and “affirmed that he understood that the entry of his plea exposed him to a potential prison term of twenty to forty years, because each crime to which he pled was punishable by ten to twenty years of imprisonment.”
The Circuit Court ordered that Markley serve the sentences concurrently, resulting in his 10-20-year sentence. The Court of Appeals ruled that his sentence does not “shock the conscience”—which is a test used to determine if a sentence is constitutionally appropriate—nor does it meet other tests for an unreasonable sentence, leading the court to affirm the sentence.
Markley’s projected release date is Feb. 3, 2026, according to the West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s website.
Eakle is currently in the Mount Olive Correctional Complex serving a life sentence on charges of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person in a position of trust to a child, first degree sexual abuse and first degree sexual assault.
He was arrested in Feb. 2020 after West Virginia State Police were informed by Ruby Memorial Hospital that a 4-year-old girl who was a suspected victim of sexual abuse was brought in.
In his appeal, Eakle argued that the sentence is ‘disproportionate,’ and that he did not have effective assistance of counsel, according to court documents.
The Court of Appeals said that Eakle argued that his “failure to take responsibility or express remorse for his conduct” being taken into account during sentencing was “punitive,” but the court said nothing precludes a court from considering a failure to accept responsibility during sentencing.
A petitioner referred to only as “Edward Y” was indicted on 24 counts: Eight counts each of incest, second-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust.
“Edward Y” argued that the circuit court was wrong to dismiss a juror who had themselves raised concerns that they may be unable to serve impartially, over “Edward Y”‘s objection. The Court of Appeals noted that “petitioner made no objection to the dismissal until after the juror had already been excused.”
The Court of Appeals said, “Given the juror’s statement that she was unsure that she could be fair and impartial, we decline to find that the court abused its discretion in excusing the juror,” and further, “an alternate juror was readily available to ensure that a full jury panel could proceed with deliberations.”
The court decided to affirm “Edward Y”‘s sentence.