Defendant convicted in absentia

PARKERSBURG – A verdict of guilty was delivered in absentia Thursday in Wood County Circuit Court.

Terrance Joseph McGuirk, 43, who was indicted by the May 2012 grand jury on three counts of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, did not return for his trial after the jury was selected Wednesday afternoon.

Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton said McGuirk’s trial began Wednesday, but McGuirk did not return after the jury was selected. When the trial was to begin at 1:30 p.m., McGuirk was not present. Judge Jeffrey Reed recessed the trial for one hour to allow McGuirk time to return. When he failed to return, the trial began in his absence.

Wharton said on Thursday when the trial resumed McGuirk did not appear. Later the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts. Reed granted a motion by the state to revoke McGuirk’s bond and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Under West Virginia law the maximum penalty is imprisonment in the state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than $15,000, or both on each count of the indictment.

According to West Virginia Code 62-1C-17b, failure to appear is a felony and is punishable by not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than one nor more than five years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

According to court records, on Jan. 13, 2012, McGuirk was approached by agents of the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force at the North Parkersburg Post Office while carrying two packages addressed to be mailed, which contained methamphetamine. Search warrants were ultimately executed and methamphetamine was discovered in both envelopes as well as at McGuirk’s residence.

If anyone has information regarding the location of Terrance J. McGuirk they are asked to contact the Wood County Telecommunications Center by calling 304-485-8501.