Last updated: July 17. 2013 3:30PM - 384 Views
Tom Doty
Times Columnist



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Rachel Dove-Baldwin


Staff Writer


NEWTOWN - A defendant who had nine counts of violation of an emergency protection order (EPO) dismissed without prejudice (meaning charges could be reinstated) on Tuesday in Mingo County Magistrate Court for reasons of the arresting officer failing to appear for the hearing found himself back in hot water less than 24 hours later, as the 9 counts were brought back against him plus an additional 4 counts that included charges of trespassing, violation of an EPO, obstructing an officer and assault.


According to the 2 separate criminal complaints, the 9 original counts of violating an EPO were brought against Ronnie M. Hatfield, 35, of Blackberry City in Matewan, after he was accused of calling his wife Christina, on 9 different occasions on July 16 and 17, threatening to harm her, knowing there was a protective order in effect that prevented him from any type of communication with the victim.


On Tuesday evening, the same day Hatfield had appeared in magistrate court, Matewan Police Chief D. Stratton responded to a call at the Matewan football field concerning an alleged disturbance involving the defendant. Hatfield was instructed to leave the premises by the chief and was told not to return, but did so approximately 30 minutes later.


In a signed statement by Christina Hatfield, she relayed to Chief Stratton that her husband, who she is reportedly in the process of divorcing, stopped his truck in the middle of the road in front of the football field and started screaming at her, allegedly threatening that “he was going to kill her”. He then is accused of exiting his vehicle and walking in her direction. Others in attendance at the game are said to have stopped the defendant, allowing time for Christina to hide.


As he was leaving the football field, he was overheard by numerous individuals repeating that he was going to kill his wife and her friend, Matt O’Brian, who also provided a statement to the police about the circumstances that occurred.


Wednesday afternoon, Hatfield was taken into custody by Chief Stratton, Matewan Police Lt. P. Mounts and Sgt. James Muncy with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, on the premises of the Mingo Central High School. He was transported to court where he was arraigned before Magistrate Dee Sidebottom who remanded the defendant to the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $153,000 full cash bond.


“I’m setting you a full cash bond with a higher amount because of the severity of the charges and the fact that you are accused of repeating these acts,” stated Magistrate Sidebottom to Hatfield, during his arraignment hearing. Hatfield was represented by Attorney Jeffrey Simpkins.


Also, unconfirmed reports are that after leaving magistrate court in Williamson on Tuesday, Hatfield was involved in a head-on collision in S. Williamson, Ky., which was investigated by the Kentucky State Police (KSP). In her statement to the officers at the football field that same evening, Christina is said to have told that the defendant was chasing her vehicle at the time the Pike County accident occurred.


A phone call to Post 9 of the KSP to speak with the trooper who worked the wreck was not returned prior to press time. More information concerning this case will be released as it becomes available.

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