Wellston PD Officers,
By: The Telegram News
Bonnie M. Wells
An incident that occurred in Ridgewood Cemetery in Wellston in June 2006 has resulted in misdemeanor indictments being handed down by a Grand Jury, on January 16, 2008, against
three Wellston Police officers, two members of the Police Auxiliary and a McArthur man.
According to Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Blanton, BCI was brought in to investigate the
matter. After evidence was gathered, a Special Prosecutor was named in the cases against
the six men. Prosecuting Attorney Matt Schmidt, of Ross County, has handled the cases.
The Grand Jury returned misdemeanor indictments, Blanton said. These cases will now be
handled in Jackson County Municipal Court.
The defendants and charges are as follows:
• Officer Richard Kisor, Jr., of Wellston, was indicted on 1 count of Assault, 1 count of
Aggravated Menacing, and 1 count of Unlawful Restraint.
• Officer Kevin R. Rippeth, of Wellston, was indicted on 1 count of Complicity to
Menacing and 1 count of Complicity to Unlawful Restraint.
• Officer Roy E. Roberts, Jr., of Jackson, was indicted on 1 county of Complicity to
Menacing and 1 count of Complicity to Unlawful Restraint.
• Then Auxiliary member Benjamin D. Mathews, of Wellston, was indicted on 1 count of
Menacing and 1 count of Unlawful Restraint. He currently serves as the second assistant chief
of the Wellston Fire Department.
• Then Auxiliary member Garrett Pugh, of Wellston, was indicted on 1 count of Complicity
to Unlawful Restraint.
• Travis E. Clary, of McArthur, was indicted on 1 count of Menacing and 1 count of
Wellston Police Chief John D. Hall told The Telegram that Kisor, Rippeth, and Roberts
currently serve as Wellston Police Officers. "They were all disciplined at the time," Chief
Hall said. Each was given a five-day suspension.
Mathews and Pugh are no longer members of the Auxiliary. Hall said that Clary was unknown
to his department.
Hall stated that "no further action on the part of the Wellston Police Department is
anticipated unless the court ruling would interfere with their duties."
The victim was identified as then Auxiliary member Michael Williams. Hall reported that
Williams is no longer an Auxiliary member and is employed by the Sheriff's Office.
"It's ridiculous," said Wellston Mayor Edgar Hayburn of the indictments, "This happened
almost two years ago."
Hayburn said that he had all parties in his office and the incident was discussed to the
satisfaction of all. "By the time they left, everything was clear," Hayburn said.
"Everyone left glad," the Mayor continued, and they understood they had to buy the victim
Mayor Hayburn characterized all parties as "getting on with their lives."
"I think it's just ridiculous," Hayburn said again, "to bring it up two years later. If
it was going to be brought, it should have been done at that time."
Hayburn termed the incident "a joke really that got out of hand."
Hayburn concluded his comments by stating that all parties involved are "nice young men"
and that he knows the victim is still friends with some of those who have now been
Just because it took the system 2 years to do their job does not mean an illegal incident should just be forgotten.
I remember a local case in which a 50+ year old man was accused of raping a little 12 year old girl. It took 2 years for that man to be indicted too, and when he was finally indicted and there might have been a chance of getting him off our streets for awhile, the prosecution asked the court to dismiss the charges because of lack of evidence!
The fact that some of our police departments refuse to file a complaint; refuse to press charges; refuse to allow the victim to press charges or even make a written statement at the time of an incident, has long been a concern of mine. I have witnessed this in several situations -- including a recent one in which a member of law enforcement and his mother perpetrated a lie and tried to kidnap a child from a school!
The child's mother was even told by the prosecuting attorney's office that it was an attempted abduction -- however, NO ONE would allow the mother to file a report; get a restraining order; or do anything about the situation.
I suppose by the time it all comes out and the world finally knows the type of intimidation; threats and harassment that this woman is being forced to endure, some mayor, or some newly elected judge will say she shouldn't have waited so long to do something!!
And of course, when that time comes, I most assuredly WILL write up the entire nightmare from beginning to end [including the illegal wire tapping that's going on even as I write this] and I WILL post it, along with ALL of their names; and their titles, so everyone can see for themselves what some of the people in this general area are being forced to endure.
Then everyone can know of the abuser's 'stature' as he so proudly proclaims to his captive victims - with the blessing of those who should be doing something about his abuses, instead of condoning them.
Update / March 2008
Jackson County Municipal Court Judge Mark Musick has stepped down in a June 2006 case involving three Wellston Police Officers, two members of the Wellston Police Auxiliary, and a McArthur man.
Assigned to hear the case is Scioto County Municipal Court Judge Richard T. Schisler.
Arraignments for the six men were scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, but according to Municipal Court Clerk Diana Morris, all were "paper arraignments" and no one had to appear.
Morris said all six men have attorneys and all entered pleas of Not Guilty.
On January 16, 2008, a Jackson County Grand Jury issued misdemeanor indictments against the men which sent the cases to Municipal Court.
Wellston Police Officer Richard Kisor, of Wellston - 1 count of Assault, 1 count of Aggravated Menacing, and 1 count of Unlawful Restraint.
Officer Kevin R. Rippeth, of Wellston - 1 count of Complicity to Menacing and 1 count of Complicity to Unlawful Restraint. Officer Roy E. Roberts, of Jackson, 1 count of Complicity to Menacing and 1 count of Complicity to Unlawful Restraint.
Former Auxiliary members Benjamin D. Mathews, of Wellston and Garrett Pugh, also of Wellston were both indicted. Mathews was indicted on 1 count of Menacing and 1 count of Unlawful Restraint and Pugh on 1 count of Complicity to Unlawful Restraint.
Travis E. Clary, of McArthur, was indicted on 1 count of Menacing and 1 count of Unlawful Restraint.
Wellston Police Chief, John D. Hall, earlier told The Telegram that Kisor, Rippeth, and Roberts are still members of the department and were disciplined at the time by each being given a five-day suspension. Mathews and Pugh are no longer members of the Auxiliary and Hall said Clary is unknown to his department.
The victim of what Wellston Mayor Edgar "Butch" Hayburn termed "a joke really that got out of hand," was former Auxiliary member Michael Williams who is now employed by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
Morris said the court would now work with Judge Schisler to set the next hearing date, which she expects to occur soon.