HARRISVILLE, W.Va. (WOWK) — A grand jury indicted former West Virginia State Police (WVSP) Trooper Joseph Comer on Monday, according to Attorney David Moye.
Moye, who is representing Comer, said he 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.
Comer 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 has 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 of Comer’s child 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 would 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.