Father upset at prosecution’s omission in trial

By By Susan Williams
For the Gazette-Mail

FAYETTEVILLEA father took exception to a statement made in a Fayette County Circuit Court hearing that his son’s whereabouts are unknown.

Charles “Chuck” Andrews is the father of Sean Andrews. In a hearing last week, a childhood friend of Sean Andrews’ testified as to what Sean Andrews told him about the disappearance of Jonathan Skaggs nearly 20 years ago.

At the time Skaggs disappeared, both Sean Andrews and Wes Jones were about 13 years old. In August 1999, Skaggs’ body was found in many small, burned pieces near Oak Hill.

Charles Andrews called the Gazette-Mail to say that the Fayette County prosecutor knows where his son lives and that his son had given police a statement about the Skaggs case.

Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah acknowledged in an interview Friday morning that he does know where Sean Andrews is.

Harrah said he traveled to Florida to try to get an official statement from Sean Andrews about his knowledge of what happened to Skaggs. The prosecutor said Sean Andrews would not agree to make an official statement.

When a reporter asked Harrah why he did not make it clear in last Tuesday’s hearing that he knew where Sean Andrews is, Harrah said, “No one asked me.”

Harrah also said that Public Defender Scott Stanton also knows where Sean Andrews is.

Contacted at his office, Stanton also acknowledged that he knew the whereabouts of Sean Andrews.

“But I cannot get him to respond to me,” Stanton said.

He said he must go through a process to get a subpoena issued for someone who does not live within the state of West Virginia. Stanton said he is working on that process.

Stanton represents Clint Toney, who was indicted in 2015 for Skaggs’ murder. Some of Skaggs’ remains were found in a fire pit where Toney once lived. Stanton has asked a judge to dismiss the indictment, citing several reasons for the dismissal. Stanton subpoenaed Jones who testified Tuesday to what he said Sean Andrews told him about what he saw in 1999.

After swearing to tell the truth, Jones testified that Sean Andrews told him he was hiding in the woods and saw what was done to Skaggs. Sean Andrews’ father disputes this. Charles Andrews said his son, who is 31 now, “knows nothing about the case.”

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing, Fayette County Circuit Judge John Hatcher told both sides to prepare conclusions of law.

Susan Williams is a retired Gazette reporter.

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