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UPDATE: Judge declares mistrial against former Fayette County BOE employee

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UPDATE: August 23, 2019, at 1:00 pm: FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – A former Fayette County BOE employee appeared back in court after allegedly stealing several hundred pounds of copper and brass form Collins Middle School.

Former Fayette County Board of Education’s Director of Operations, David Keffer, appeared in court on Thursday, August 22, 2019, which the judge declared a mistrial.  Judge Ewing declared the mistrial after counsel for Keffer raised a legal argument over who owned the land of the Collins Middle School in Oak Hill.   The Fayette County Board of Education couldn’t prove they own the land and that there are discrepancies.   The original deed to the Fayette County BOE stated that the board had to follow certain guidelines or the line would go back to the original people.  Discrepancies over how long those guidelines were to be in place are unknown.

There will be a hearing over the land dispute sometime in September of this year.  Once the land dispute is settled, Keffer’s case could be brought back up.

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UPDATE: July 31, 2018, at 6:00 am: FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – David Keffer’s case will now move on to the grand jury.

Magistrate Danita Young found probable cause on Monday during Keffer’s pre-trial hearing. WOAY was the only station inside the courtroom with the cameras rolling.  Keffer’s being charged with five felony counts, three counts of entering without breaking, one count of grand larceny and one count of destruction of property.

He’s accused of stealing and selling copper piping from Collins Middle School in Oak Hill.

Investigators say Keffer sold the pipes to a local scrap purchaser for over 800 dollars in cash.

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OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County Board Of Education’s Director of Operations has been arrested and charged for stealing several hundred pounds of copper and brass from Collins Middle School.

According to court documents, Fayette County Officials met with the Board Of Education Personnel on June 1, 2018, to begin an investigation into David Keffer.   Board Of Education Members told Captain S. L. Campbell with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department that David Keffer may have cut many feet of copper and/or brass pipes from the former Collins Middle School located at 601 Jones Ave. in Oak Hill and removed them from the building.  The BOE Information Technology Specialist showed the group surveillance video taken from Collins Middle School “annex” of David Keffer using a battery-powered reciprocating saw to cut down several sections of pipes from the ceiling in the hallways of the annex.  After cutting down this piping, footage depicts Keffer cutting the insulating wrapping from the pipes.  Other footage depicts Keffer carrying the pipes and a container with what appeared to be pipe fittings out the doors and into the parking lot.  The time stamps on the videos are various dates and times during the month of May 2018.

On June 4, 2018, Captain Campbell traveled to J.R.’s Recycling Company located in Oak Hill and met with the supervisor.  Records reflect that Keffer submitted 99 pounds of piping for cash on May 25th, 2018.  Forensic photographs show that pips were removed from the overhead in the hallways of the annex. Later on June 4, 2018, Captain Campbell and a BOE official met on Bibb St. to retrieve Keffer’s county vehicle.  Keffer was present when officials arrived but were not prepared to interview him at the time.  Keffer advised, while no under Miranda, that he still had the cash money from selling the piping to JRs, and that it was secured at a desk at the BOE offices.  Captain Campbell obtained a search warrant for Mr. Keffer’s desk and found a white letter sized envelope in the drawer that contained 768 dollars.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, footage depicts Keffer, who is accompanied by two adult females and one juvenile male walking around the annex.  It shows Keffer and the younger of the two adult females carrying out items in plastic totes.  There were approximately 114 feet of copper piping removed.

On June 5, 2018, Captain Campbell obtained a search warrant for security camera footage and documentation at JR’s. Recycling.  He was provided three receipts that were in the month of May 2018, on dates of May 5, May 21, and May 25.  The receipts show that Keffer turned in 372 pounds of copper tubing for $818.15, 32 pounds of brass for a total of $34.70, totaling $853.85 all together.

on June 5, 2018, Keffer told Campbell his attorney advised him not to give an interview.

An estimate indicates that the replacement value of the copper piping in the “annex” to be 18,500 dollars in materials and 8,500 dollars in labor totaling 26,500.

Warrants were issued for Keffer’s arrest on Wednesday, July 11th and Keffer was arrested on Thursday, July 12 and is currently out on bond.

Keffer is facing 3 counts of entering without breaking, 1 count of removal, injury to or destruction of property, and 1 count of grand larceny.

This investigation is still active and ongoing.



Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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