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Man suing State Police wants misdemeanors dropped

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man allegedly shot in the head by a State Police trooper who was carrying out an arrest warrant on misdemeanor charges has asked a judge to force Kanawha County prosecutors to dismiss those charges.

Stephen Shawn Krein filed a petition in Kanawha Circuit Court Friday, alleging that Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants has ignored repeated requests to dismiss a string of misdemeanor charges filed against Krein in 2008.

That year, State Police troopers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Krein in the parking lot of a convenience store off U.S. 119 in Roane County. Trooper L.W. Price opened fire on him as he attempted to flee in his pickup truck, striking him in the head above his right ear, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the State Police in 2011.

Krein survived the gunshot but is now in a wheelchair, said his lawyer, Mike Clifford.

The month before, emergency dispatchers issued a "be on the lookout" for a red truck that was driving erratically in the Clendenin area. State Police Cpl. Patrick J. Mooney spotted the vehicle on 119 and followed it to Keifer Fork Road, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

At one point, the truck was stuck in the mud. When Mooney and another trooper approached, the driver backed up, turned around and nearly struck the officers. Mooney fired five shots at a tire as the truck sped away.

The troopers found the truck minutes later in the middle of Keifer Fork Road. All four of its doors were open and the engine was still running. Three of the people inside were found nearby. One of them identified Krein as the driver, the complaint states.

The truck did not have a license plate, and Krein's license had been suspended because of a DUI arrest, the complaint states. He was charged with a bevy of misdemeanors that included fleeing in a vehicle, assault on a police officer, driving without headlights and reckless driving.

In October, Clifford filed a motion to dismiss the misdemeanors because authorities failed to prosecute the case. Clifford said repeated phone calls to Plants' office inquiring about the motion were not returned.

Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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