Jury finds Sager guilty
by Jazz Clark
A Morgan County Circuit Court jury found William J. Sager of Berkeley Springs guilty on Thursday, August 30, of two counts of breaking and entering as well as petit larceny and attempted tire theft.
Sager, 44, faces a possible sentence of four-to-20 years in prison for the crimes.
The charges came from events of October 15, 2011, near Howard Street in North Berkeley. Sager once worked at the building in a tire shop owned by his father.
He allegedly returned for some pricey tires and tools that had been left there. The property had been sold at least six months before.
On the morning of October 15, Deputy Sheriff Dennis Jenkins discovered someone inside the former tire shop after noticing a car parked in the grass across the road.
“Something about where that car was parked made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” Jenkins testified during the one-day trial.
After hearing what he described as “banging and the sounds of stuff being moved around,” Jenkins called for K-9 backup.
Deputy Seth Place arrived 15 minutes later and the pair called into the building three times.
“Just as we were about to release the dog into the building on the third call, we heard yelling and they said they were coming out,” Jenkins told the jury.
Sager and Steven Riggleman were arrested and taken into custody after police confirmed with the building’s owner that they were trespassing. The previous owners had been given 30 days to remove their property.
Jenkins said Sager claimed he took two tires that belonged to him and put them in a trailer outside.
Riggleman, however, testified that the two had already been to the garage around eight that morning. Sager never mentioned selling two tires at East End Towing in Hancock.
Prosecutor Debra McLaughlin told the jury that several clues proved Sager’s guilt. These included the odd parking of the car so it couldn’t be seen from the road and Sager’s omission of information involving the first visit proved to the building.
McLaughlin suggested Sager was simply back at the scene of the crime looking for more tires to steal.
Riggleman testified against Sager at the trial. Charges against him had been downgraded to a misdemeanor in February.