Plea deal taken in Peters, King case

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SALYERSVILLE – In an agreed order filed on Wednesday, two former Magoffin County Schools employees pleaded guilty to an amended-down charge of disorderly conduct and sentenced to 10 days, to be probated for one year. 

The case against Dearl R. Peters and Wendell King started on May 18, 2016, when a video from a party involving juveniles drinking alcohol was posted on Facebook. Kentucky State Police received a complaint regarding the video and determined the party's location was the home of Wendell King, of Patrick Drive, in Salyersville.

When law enforcement arrived at the trailer that night, KSP Trooper Zach Haney noted in an arrest citation that he could see juveniles in the kitchen, where he could see empty beer cans in the trash can and liquor bottles on the counter.

Trooper Haney watched as one juvenile hid a bottle of Crown Royal in the cabinet and heard another say, "Hide stuff. The police is here."

According to police reports, five juveniles, ranging from 14 to 19 years old, were given a preliminary breath test and the presence of alcohol was shown. Two other juveniles did not test positive for alcohol. Two juveniles were sent to the emergency room due to their level of intoxication, and the Department of Social Services was notified. All juveniles were released to their parents.

According to the arrest citation, Wendell King, 40, was found undressed and passed out in the master bedroom. Dearl Peters, 41, of Gun Creek Rd., Salyersville, and Leaha Vanhoose, 22, of Paintsville, were also located inside the home.

Both employed by the Magoffin County Schools district at the time of the arrest, Peters was a carpentry teacher and King was a maintenance employee. In the May 19 Magoffin County School Board's regularly-scheduled meeting, the board acknowledged Stanley Holbrook's decision to officially terminate King and Peters, effective as of May 20.  

King, Peters and Vanhoose were each charged with five counts each of third degree unlawful transaction with a minor (a Class A misdemeanor). 

On Wednesday, February 1, in Magoffin County District Court, Peters and King (both represented by Ned Pillersdorf) pleaded guilty to an amended-down charge of disorderly conduct (a Class B misdemeanor), and were sentenced to 10 days, probated for a period of one year, and each were ordered to pay court costs of $143 within 30 days. 

Vanhoose's attorney, Casey Robinson, also filed a motion to require the Commonwealth to amend the complaint or dismiss the case, though, at press time, no action has been taken regarding that motion.  A motion hour hearing is set for February 6 at 9:15 a.m. 

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.