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Supreme Court justice’s son arrested on DUI, pot charges

By Rusty Marks, Staff writer

The son of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana.

According to a criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Sgt. J.M. Raynes of the Nitro Police Department pulled over a gray Jeep Cherokee at about 2:15 a.m. July 9 on West 11th Street. Raynes said he saw the Jeep’s driver almost hit a parked car while speeding.

The Jeep’s driver, Edward E. Gardner, 27, of Quarry Creek in Charleston, had slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcohol, the criminal complaint says.

In the complaint, Raynes wrote that he saw a bag of something that looked like marijuana on the floor of the Jeep. When he asked Gardner about the marijuana, Gardner said it wasn’t his and accused the officer of planting the bag in the car, according to the criminal complaint.

Gardner allegedly failed several field sobriety tests. He consented to a breath test and put the breath tube into his mouth, but repeatedly refused to blow into the device, the complaint says.

Gardner then allegedly became combative and told the officer to arrest him. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana and taken to the Nitro police station, according to the criminal complaint.

Once there, Gardner resisted further blood alcohol tests and demanded to call his mother, who he said was a Supreme Court judge, according to the complaint. Gardner is Workman’s son. She could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

After getting off the phone, Gardner was given six chances to take another breath test, but again refused to blow into the machine, the complaint says.

“[Gardner] kept repeating numerous times ‘My mom’s a Supreme Court judge,’” Raynes wrote in the complaint. “I asked Mr. Gardner if that was supposed to affect the way I treated him,” the criminal complaint says. “He became very angry and told me I was bullied in high school and stated that I was uneducated.”

According to the complaint, after the sixth attempt to get him to blow into the machine, Gardner told Raynes he was having a panic attack and asked for medical attention. He then started to stick his fingers down his throat, the complaint says. Paramedics were called and said Gardner was fine, according to the complaint, but Gardner “kept screaming that he needed oxygen,” the criminal complaint says.

Gardner was taken to Thomas Memorial Hospital, where he refused to answer questions or consent to a blood sample, according to the complaint. Police got a warrant to take a blood sample, and Gardner was taken to jail.

Gardner was initially charged through Nitro Municipal Court, but the charges were later transferred to Kanawha Magistrate Court. Gardner was given a summons to appear in court at 10 a.m. on July 31, court staff said.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1215 or follow @rusty_marks on Twitter.


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