by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
COURTS:  Marquee Accomplice Trial Underway; Former Police Officer Accused of Sex Offenses Stands Trial in April

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – The robbery trial of a former Marquee Cinema Pullman Square employee got underway Tuesday, Feb. 8 with jury selection. Joshawa Clark has maintained his innocence of all charges. However, his longtime friend has signed a plea agreement to testify against him.

Clark insists he’s a victim of a police theory of an ‘inside job,’ but surveillance footage at the trial showed him with Shaver just after the Pullman Square cinema had been robbed.

The Pullman Square stadium seating, digital projection, state of the art 16 auditorium cinema suffered a series of robberies all at or just after the final film showing of the evening. Although the two men are not charged in the first robbery in which police and K-9 units probed a locked down parking garage, they are accused in two robberies that followed on July 13 and October 19, 2009. During the last robbery, employees were tied up inside the office. At the time chairman / CEO , Curtis McCall, told the media that for both employee and patron safety he could not continue to operate if the serial robberies continued.

Marquee had previously lost a manager in Raleigh , NC to an armed robbers bullets. Huntington Police arrested the two young men within 48 hours of McCall’s plea for intensifying the search for the robbers who were becoming increasingly aggressive with each new incident.

After the two men were arrested, no additional robberies have occurred at the theatre. Cinema management stepped up security at the venue on weekends to establish an atmosphere that would discourage future would-be bandits.

Clark’s trial continues Wednesday, Feb. 9, when Shaver is expected to testify against his longtime friend who lived nearby in Marcum Terrace. Former fellow employees are also scheduled to testify against Clark.

PETE BOWEN

Former Huntington Police Captain Foster “Pete” Bowen will stand trial April 18 for sexually abusing young boys. The 80-year-old man remains at the Western Regional Jail pending trial.

REDUCED FEDERAL COURT HEROIN SENTENCE

At the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Robert Chambers reduced the sentence of Michelle Georgette Byars from over seven years to four years and two months. The request came due to her providing substantial cooperation assisting with the conviction of heroin traffickers from Columbus, Ohio.