Martinsburg, WV - CHAMBERSBURG -- A Waynesboro Borough Council member accused of seriously injuring a man during a February 2011 bar fight in West Virginia is to attend a pre-trial court conference Friday in preparation for his upcoming trial.
Craig Newcomer, 47 -- a man known for his charity work in Franklin County -- is charged with malicious assault and conspiracy to commit malicious assault.
"The whole case is based on hearsay," Newcomer said during a phone interview Thursday. "I feel confident because God knows what happened."
Newcomer allegedly punched Virginia resident Ernest Cumbie, 45, in the face Feb. 13, 2011 at Dirty Dawg Saloon in Martinsburg, W. Va. Cumbie was flown to a Virginia hospital with injuries that included facial fractures and severe brain bruising.
Newcomer stepped down from his position as Waynesboro Borough council president shortly after he was charged, but continues to serve as a regular council member.
His trial is set to begin Aug. 14 in Berkely County Court, Martinsburg, W. Va.
Newcomer said there's a good chance the trial will never happen, confident that the prosecution has "nothing."
"Not one witness of the 60 people there saw me do anything," he said.
Newcomer is looking for a full acquittal, saying he's innocent and will accept no plea bargain.
Alexa O'Connell, co-owner of the Dirty Dawg, told Public Opinion last year that she's heard about the good work Newcomer has done, but that makes no difference.
"To us, he's a criminal," she said.
Newcomer is being jointly prosecuted with Benjamin "4th Grade" Bean, 36, Sharpsburg, Md., who is accused of providing false information to police in the same incident.
Newcomer and Bean were at the Dirty Dawg for a Valentine's Day party with Newcomer's fiancé and two other men. Newcomer and Bean were identified as members of the Avengers Motorcycle Club.
Newcomer previously told Public Opinion that he rides a Harley-Davidson and associated with the Avengers to teach bikers about God.
"What you have is an officer (of the law) who was overzealous in trying to make this about a motorcycle club," Newcomer said. The federal government removed the Avengers from a gang list in the 1980s, he said.
Newcomer said 40 people were involved in the bar fight. Martinsburg police officers made it look like only two participated, he alleges.
"There's a very good chance that the person who was coming after me that I struck back was not the person who was injured," he said.
Newcomer's attorney Daniel James and prosecuting attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Newcomer is involved with Chambersburg-based Maranatha Ministries and runs the Candleheart program, which provides food, counseling and transitional housing for those in need. He remains free on $50,000 bail.
----------------- Beth Anne Heesen can be reached at 262-4754 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @baheesenPO.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World.
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes
copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service,
you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must
Click Here to contact acting agent.