An assistant prosecutor who pursued charges on a West Virginia teen over his choice of shirt is now in hot water for slapping leather on an office decoration.
On suspension is Logan County Assistant Prosecutor Chris White following an incident earlier this month after a gun scare in which White, professing a fear of spiders, pointed a handgun at Halloween decorations representing them.
“He said they had spiders every place and he said he told them it wasn’t funny, and he couldn’t stand them, and he did indeed get a gun out. It had no clip in it, of course they wouldn’t know that, I wouldn’t either if I looked at it, to tell you the truth,” Logan County Prosecutor John Bennett told WCHS.
In the Oct. 5 incident, White did not point his gun at any of the three secretaries who witnessed it, but did threaten the decorations.
White, who has been listed with the West Virginia Bar Association since 2003 and with Logan County for at least five years, came to a degree of national notoriety two years ago when he, along with assistant prosecutor Sabrina Deskins, headed up the county’s case against 14-year old Jared Marcum, who was suspended and arrested for obstruction of justice over a T-shirt he wore to school. The shirt, distributed by the National Rifle Association, had an image of an AR-15 rifle and the case was later dismissed by the court.
Marcum’s family currently has a federal lawsuit in the works against the county, seeking $450,000 in damages.
As for the latest controversy in which White is involved, Bennett has both banned Halloween decorations and the carrying of firearms in the office but admits the situation is bizarre.
“I never saw it coming, that’s for sure. Obviously, I wouldn’t have even hired him if I had seen it coming. And the fact that he’s been there five years and we haven’t had any incidents like this also, to me, is a pretty good indication it’s certainly out of the ordinary,” Bennett said.
Logan County Chief Deputy M.A. Mays says authorities are reviewing surveillance video of the incident and compiling witness statements, but does not anticipate filing charges.