POINT PLEASANT — Probable cause has been found in the case of an elementary school teacher accused of felony child abuse by a custodian causing injury.
Dwayne R. Russell, 35, Letart, appeared before Magistrate Gail Roush on Tuesday for his preliminary hearing. A full hearing was held with Roush finding probable cause which of course is not a conviction. Finding probable cause simply means if from the evidence it appears that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it, the magistrate moves the case to Mason County Circuit Court for possible further proceedings.
Once the case goes to circuit court, it’s possible it could be presented to a grand jury which would have the power to indict Russell on the charge, or not.
As reported last month, Russell, a teacher at Beale Elementary, has been accused of stomping on a student’s foot who was preparing to leave his music class and causing injury to that 11-year old male, according to the criminal complaint. After his arrest, Russell posted a $30,000 property bond in Mason County Magistrate Court and was released. Superintendent Suzanne Dickens has said Russell was no longer at Beale but did not elaborate further.
In addition to Russell, former teacher James E. Jones, II, 52, Point Pleasant, was scheduled to appear for his preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Magistrate Cheryl Miller Ross. The Jones hearing was once again continued upon the request of the defendant. A continuance may be granted if necessary to provide time to meet any new information set forth in the complaint and if the refusal to grant such continuance would substantially prejudice the rights of the defendant.
Earlier this year, Jones, was arrested after an alleged altercation with a student at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School and charged with felony child abuse causing risk of injury and misdemeanor battery. Jones has maintained the physical altercation was an attempt to defend himself against the student who he says began choking him. The Mason County Board of Education voted to terminate Jones from its employment.