Former newspaper reporter, political candidate allegedly threatens to cut off his mother’s head
Christopher Leon Stratton
A former reporter for The Logan Banner newspaper in Logan County was arrested after police allege he threatened to kill his mother.
Christopher Leon Stratton, 40, of Stollings, was arrested on two counts of domestic assault, two counts of domestic battery and brandishing on Monday, June 25.
According to a criminal complaint filed by W.Va. Senior Trooper B.K. Wellman, “the accused, Christopher Stratton, did verbally threaten to kill his mother, the victim, Dreama Stratton. The accused then retrieved a knife from the kitchen and went after the victim threatening to “cut her head off.”
During the dispute, the accused also choked the victim and punched his sister, Candace Stratton, in the face, police said.
Wellman stated that he “observed redness to his mother’s neck and to his sister’s face.” The complaint states that Wellman allegedly recovered “the knife, which was a kitchen knife approximately 12 inches long.”
Stratton is freelance journalist and a former staff writer for The Logan Banner. He was also a candidate on the Democratic ticket for the House of Delegate nomination in the May 2012 Primary Election.
He’s since been released from jail on bond. No other details regarding the alleged incident have been released.
In other news:
• A fire in Boone County early Wednesday morning kept firefighters busy. It happened at a home in the Racine area on Ashford-Nellis Road at about 1:30 a.m. Several crews responded to the blaze, but emergency dispatchers couldn't say if anyone was injured or the extent of the damage to the house.
• A 19-year-old miner was injured in an accident at a Wayne County mine late Wednesday night. Leslie Fitzwater with the West Virginia Department of Commerce said the man was a roof bolter and that he was struck with drill steel. The accident happened at the Rockspring Development Camp Creek #1 Mine Ben Haley Portal just after 11 p.m. The mine is near East Lynn on Route 37. Fitzwater says the bolter was a black hat with 10 months of experience. He was taken to a Huntington hospital. His name and condition have not been released.
• West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw alleges 14 pharmaceutical drug distributors have helped fuel the state's painkiller abuse epidemic, according to a report by the Associated Press. McGraw announced Tuesday that he's filing a pair of lawsuits in Boone County Circuit Court against the companies. The lawsuits ask a judge to require the distributors to flag suspicious drug orders to the state Board of Pharmacy. It seeks to ensure the companies halt all shipments to the state that aren't for legitimate medical purposes. McGraw also wants a court-ordered program to monitor the health of prescription drug users. The lawsuits seek damage awards as well. One defendant company declined to comment on the lawsuits Tuesday, but said it guards against the sort of practices they allege. At least two were recently targeted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
• The Associated Press has also reported that an eastern Kentucky coal mining company has been ordered to pay $1.67 million after failing to respond to a lawsuit brought by the federal government. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove issued the order Tuesday after D&C Mining Corp. of Harlan failed to answer allegations that it owed fines on 1,244 citations. The Mine Safety and Health Administration sued D&C Mining in U.S. District Court in London, Ky., in March, alleging that it accumulated the 1,200 citations between Jan. 24, 2006, and Feb. 8, 2012, and had paid $1.1 million of the $2.7 million initially owed. The company did not file a legal response to the lawsuit within 20 days of being served as required by federal court rules, prompting Van Tatenhove to issue the default judgment.