OHIO VALLEY — After waiving his right to an extradition hearing in Huntington, W.Va., earlier this week, a Gallipolis, Ohio, man arrested after the discovery of human remains outside Point Pleasant, W.Va., is due back in Gallia County.
Richard A. Hurt, 47, is scheduled to appear in Gallipolis Municipal court at 1:30 p.m. Friday to face charges in Ohio, determine a bond amount and set a preliminary hearing date, according to Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. Hurt has been charged in Gallipolis Municipal Court with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony. In Mason County, W.Va., Hurt has been charged with concealment of a deceased human body, a felony.
As previously reported, according to the complaint filed in Gallia County, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Bureau Criminal Identification and Investigation assisted authorities in Mason County with the discovery of a dismembered human body on July 30. During the investigation, Hurt reportedly told investigators he and a recently reported missing Gallia County woman, Jessica Berry, 32, of Gallipolis, were at a residence on White Road in Gallia County on or about July 19. Berry allegedly overdosed on narcotics at the location.
Hurt also allegedly said he used a saw to dismember Berry’s remains, placed them in trash bags and transported those remains in his vehicle for roughly one and a half days before taking them to Mason County, where he buried the remains on private property.
Hurt reportedly said he disposed of Berry’s clothing and the saw in the trash that was collected by a local garbage service. The complaints state Hurt said he knew the items would end up at the local landfill.
Hurt was arrested on July 31 by troopers with the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police near the home where the remains were found. On Aug. 8, he then waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Mason County Magistrate Court, which means his case was moved to Mason County Circuit Court for possible, further criminal proceedings. In Mason County, the grand jury meets for the last time this year in September, when a possible indictment could be filed.
Also at his hearing on Aug. 8, his bond was lowered from $100,000 cash-only, to $75,000 cash surety. Papers filed in Mason County Circuit Court show Hurt posted bond on Aug. 9, but also on Aug. 9, a fugitive from justice charge was filed by the Huntington Detachment of the West Virginia State Police in Cabell County Magistrate Court. This was in relation to the charges Hurt was facing in Gallia County. As of Thursday evening, Hurt was being jailed on the Cabell County charge, according to the Western Regional Jail.
On Tuesday, he appeared in Cabell County Circuit Court, where he waived his right to an extradition hearing. By waiving the hearing, Mason County Prosecuting Attorney R. Craig Tatterson explained, Hurt was agreeing to be returned to Ohio to face charges in that state. Following the extradition hearing, officials in Gallia County had 10 days to retrieve Hurt and transport him back to Ohio.
Tatterson said the extradition would have “no effect” on his office’s legal proceedings against Hurt in Mason County.
As of Thursday evening, according to records posted by the Western Regional Jail, Hurt was originally booked into the facility on July 31, shortly after his arrest.
Dean Wright contributed to this article.