Raleigh County sex offender waives prelim - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh County sex offender waives prelim

John Lee Smith John Lee Smith

BECKLEY (WVVA) - A sex offender facing multiple counts of failing to register in Raleigh County has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, after his return to the Mountain State from Kansas.

John Lee Smith, 48, of Beckley was arrested in Allen County, Kansas in March on a fugitive from justice warrant.

Smith, who was convicted of the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Missouri in 1984, was arrested earlier this year on a new sexual assault charge by the Beckley Police Department. He was subsequently released on bond.

After failing to report within three days after his release from jail -- as required by law -- warrants were issued for Smith's arrest.

He was apprehended in Kansas on March 13 and had fought extradition back to West Virginia.

He was returned to West Virginia on July 19 and appeared in court Tuesday where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Smith is back in Southern Regional Jail on $250,000 bond.

Following is the full news release from the West Virginia State Police:

On Friday, July 19, 2013 48 yoa sex offender John Lee Smith of Beckley was extradited from Allen County, Kansas back to Raleigh County, WV where he was remanded to the Southern Regional Jail.  He had prior been arrested on March 13, 2013 in Allen County Kansas on a Fugitive from Justice Warrant after being entered into NCIC as a wanted subject by Cpl. RA Daniel WVSP Beckley Detachment. Mr. Smith had fought his extradition back to WV since the arrest in March.

Mr. Smith maintains a 1984 conviction in Chariton, Missouri for Rape of an 8 yoa female and is currently registered in Raleigh County. He must register for life due to the victim being a minor and it being a sexually violent offense.

Prior to March 2013, Mr. Smith had been arrested on a subsequent sexual assault charge by the Beckley City Police Dept. and released from the Southern Regional Jail to probation. This officer obtained warrants after Mr. Smith failed to report within 3 days of his release from jail. Registered sex offenders are required to register within 3 business days of release from any incarceration, guilty finding or plea.

During attempts to locate Mr. Smith it was discovered that he had fled from his last registered Beckley address and his location was unknown. Sex offenders must also register within 10 business days of any change of registry information including but not limited to physical address and must also register 10 business days prior to moving outside of this jurisdiction, either to another county or state.

This officer entered Mr. Smith into NCIC as a wanted subject and was notified upon his arrest in Kansas by the Allen County Sheriff Dept. He maintains a previous conviction for failing to register as a sex offender in 2009 through Raleigh County. A conviction for first offense failure to register maintains a possible 1-5 year sentence, while a second or subsequent conviction maintains a 10-25 year sentence for each count. Mr. Smith is facing 4 counts of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender for 2nd or subsequent offense, with a possible 40-100 year sentence.

On Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at 0930 hours, Mr. Smith and his attorney waived his right to a preliminary hearing in front of Raleigh County Magistrate Charles Humphrey, transferring the case to Circuit Court. He remains in custody of the Southern regional Jail on $250,000.00 bond.

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