CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Pocahontas County sheriff's deputy who resigned after firing his gun at his girlfriend's house is now a police officer in Ronceverte in Greenbrier County.
Robert Alkire II pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor brandishing a weapon for firing his pistol in an unsafe manner. He was originally charged with one count of wanton endangerment for the November 2008 incident.
"The reason we hired him is we are a small police department and at the time, he was the only certified officer that applied," said Ronceverte Chief Michael L. Smith. "I know what he was originally charged with, but he only pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. That doesn't eliminate him from being hired. ... He has done an outstanding job for the police department."
On Nov. 30, 2008, Alkire got into an argument with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Miller at her Marlinton Home, Dan Dotson, who handled the case as a special prosecutor, said at the time. The argument continued into the street, where Alkire fired his weapon, Dotson said.
"It was not fired at anybody in a malicious manner," Dotson said.
Alkire, whose father was sheriff at the time, went into Miller's house, Dotson said. Police were then called.
"The sheriff responded to the scene in Marlinton. At that point in time [Robert Alkire II] was in a medical situation," Dotson said. "The sheriff and a deputy came to transport him to a medical facility. They were unsuccessful."
The sheriff couldn't get his son to go to the hospital, Dotson said. Dotson declined to specify the "medical situation."
Emergency workers arrived on the scene and were able to transport Alkire II to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, Dotson said. Alkire II was placed on administrative leave immediately, he said.
Sheriff Alkire requested an outside investigation, telling the prosecutor, "I can't have anything to do with this," Dotson said.
Dotson said Robert Alkire II was charged Jan. 25 with one count of wanton endangerment for the incident. Bail was set at $3,000.
Robert Alkire II, "handled his department issue pistol in an unsafe manner and fired [it] in such a manner that it created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another," according to the criminal complaint filed in Pocahontas County Magistrate Court.
The case was also brought before a grand jury, which declined to file charges, a Pocahontas County circuit court clerk said Wednesday.
Current Pocahontas County Sheriff David Jonese said Alkire II resigned from the department. As a part of the plea deal he agreed he would not be a police officer in Pocahontas County for one year, Jonese said.