OPINION ISSUED NOVEMBER 23, 1988
WILLIAM C. EDENS, JR.
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
John M. Hedges, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Robert D. Pollitt, Senior Assistant Attorney General, for
The claimant brought this action under West Virginia Code
claims for unjust
arrest and imprisonment or conviction and imprisonment. This is a
of first impression for
In accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned section of
West Virginia Code,
the following facts were established at a hearing of this claim.
Claimant William C. Edens, Jr. was arrested, charged by warrant
imprisoned in Kanawha
County for the November 17, 1983 first degree murder of Vincent
1983. His confinement lasted from December 16, 1983 through
1983, when he
was released on bond.
On January 2, 1984, Gregory C. Burdette was arrested for the
17, 1983 first
degree murder of Vincent Tyree. On April 11, 1986, term of Kanawha
County Court, Gregory
C. Burdette was convicted of, among other charges, the first degree
murder of Vincent Tyree, he
was subsequently sentenced, upon the murder count of the
life imprisonment with
By Kanawha County Circuit Court Order of January 4, 1984, it was
determined that the State
would not present the murder charge against Edens to the Kanawha
Grand Jury. William
Edens, Jr. was released and discharged from his $50,000.00 bond.
Claimant was questioned by the police approximately one month
his arrest. On
December 16, 1983, when the deputy sheriffs took his son to jail,
William C. Edens, Sr.
engaged the services of an attorney. In addition, Mr. Edens paid
$2,000.00 to an investigator.
He borrowed $12,000.00 on an existing bank loan and paid the
$10,000.00 by check
dated December 19, 1983. The $12,000.00 borrowed cost $6,101.41 in
December 1983 through May 1988.
William C. Edens, Jr. testified that his earnings for the two to
months prior to his arrest
amounted to approximately $600.00 per month. He was then
automobile repair work. It was difficult for him to procure
body repair jobs after the
murder charge against him was dropped. He did some free-lance
At the time of his
hearing, he was employed by Baker Equipment Engineering Company. He
stated that he
considers the money which his father expended on his behalf a debt
he owes to his father
and to his family.
It is within the Court's discretion to determine the amount of
compensation to be awarded to
the claimant. Therefore, the Court makes an award of $20,000.00 to
claimant, it being the
opinion of the Court that such amount will fairly and reasonably
compensate him, including his
repayment to his father of moneys expended by his father in his
Award of $20,000.00.