RITCHIE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Former West Virginia State Police Trooper Joseph Comer on Friday pleaded no contest to domestic battery, and guilty to violating a protective order.

Comer was released from jail following the hearing in Ritchie County.

Here is everything in the plea agreement

  • Plead no contest to domestic battery and guilty to violation of protective order.
  • State agrees to dismiss the strangulation charge.
  • Will serve one year of probation and must complete anger management program.
  • Will reappear before judge in 2024 to decide if he will serve prison time.

Attorney David Moye says his client was indicted on three charges: strangulation, domestic battery and violation of bond. Comer turned himself in on Sept. 8 after a bond violation arrest warrant was issued.

He was denied bond because the state argued that he violated a no-communication order by placing more than 36 hours’ worth of phone calls to the alleged victim. He has remained in jail since his bond was denied.

Comer had previously pleaded not guilty to all wrongdoing.

He was initially placed on administrative leave, but the WVSP had recently served a Notice of Intent to Discipline Comer. According to the WVSP, the notice details the department’s intent to terminate Comer’s employment.

In July 2023, the mother asked the Marion County Family Court to drop a domestic violence protection order against him she had in that county.

According to Comer’s attorney David Moye, the Ritchie County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office produced phone records showing that Comer allegedly spoke with the mother of his child on the phone, which is not allowed because she is the alleged victim in the battery case.

However, Moye claims it was the woman who called Comer to discuss their child.

Comer and Moye have maintained that the charges were payback because Comer previously brought attention to misconduct in the top ranks of the State Police by writing a five-page anonymous letter sent to Gov. Jim Justice and lawmakers. The letter detailed allegations of sexual assaults, thefts and a hidden camera in the women’s locker room at the state police academy.

Moye said in July that he will be trying to get the criminal charges dismissed by the Ritchie County Prosecutor. Once that is dealt with, he said they will be pursuing a civil case against the state police.