Leo Regis Rodenhauser
Cumberland Times-News

KEYSER, W.Va. — A preliminary hearing for Leo Regis Rodenhauser, 20, Cumberland, was held in Mineral County Circuit Court on Monday.

Rodenhauser was allegedly  involved in a motorcycle pursuit  in Keyser that injured two police officers in October.

The court considered motions by Rodenhauser’s attorney on admissibility of evidence from two searches and two statements, according to Jay Courrier, prosecuting attorney.

The court allowed the admission of evidence for the state, said Courrier.

Cpl. J.E. Whisner and Sgt. J.M. Droppleman of the Keyser detachment of the West Virginia State Police testified during the hearing.

According to their testimony, during the pursuit of the motorcyclist, the sheriff’s department set up a roadblock; the motorcyclist slowed down but was able to maneuver around it.

A Keyser Police 2011 Dodge Charger driven by Patrolman Jon Hudson, who was unaware of the roadblock, hit two parked cars in an effort not to strike the other law enforcement personnel in the roadway.

One of those cars struck a sheriff’s department cruiser.

Sheriff’s department Cpl. R.C. Reall and Hudson were both treated and released for injuries sustained during the accident.

Rodenhauser was indicted by a Mineral County grand jury in January for reckless fleeing in a vehicle, two counts of fleeing from an officer causing bodily injury and two counts of fleeing from an officer causing property damage, misdemeanor.

In November, Keyser City Council approved the replacement of the Charger that was wrecked during pursuit of the motorcycle.

The pretrial hearing for Rodenhauser will be held May 22.

In other circuit court news, a preliminary hearing was held for Earth Zone owners John D. Cozatt Jr. and Tonya M. Cozatt, both of Ridgeley, who allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

During the hearing, the court heard testimony from Trooper Z. J. Paterline and Droppleman about the admissibility of evidence from a search warrant and a statement; both were found admissible for the state, according to Courrier.

The Cozatts were indicted in January based on incidents that occurred October and December 2011.

John Cozatt is facing two counts of accessory to delivery of a controlled substance, five counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy.

Tonya Cozatt is facing seven counts of accessory to delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy.

The Keyser detachment of West Virginia State Police tried to pursue a felony case against the Cozatts but federal prosecution was denied.

The samples of suspected synthetic marijuana that state police bought from local businesses and sent to the state police laboratory in Charleston were reported to have a controlled substance in them, Droppleman has previously said.

Earth Zone has locations in both Keyser and Short Gap.

The pretrial hearing for the Cozatts will also be held May 22.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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