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There are four cases releated to the chemical spill that are currently pending before the Honorable Thomas E. Johnston of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.  The charges relate to alleged violations of environmental law as a result of the chemical spill.  Defendant Gary Southern faces additional charges for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud and making false statements in the Bankruptcy Court in proceedings related to the chemical spill.

Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell have entered pleas of not guilty to the crimes with which they are charged.  The charges are merely accusations, and Southern and Farrell are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  To date, William Tis, Charles Herzing, Robert Reynolds, Michael Burdette, and Freedom Industries, Inc., have pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the spill.

For additional information about this case or the resources available to victims, pleast contact the U.S. Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Coordinator, Tracy Chapman, at (304) 345-2200.  Under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, a "victim" is defined as a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense.   A crime victim has the following rights:

  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  • The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  • The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  • The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  • The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  • The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

Victim Impact Statement form

United States v. Dennis P. Farrell, William E. Tis, Charles E. Herzing and Gary Southern 

Court Date Event Time
2/2/2016 Sentencing Hearing
(Charles Herzing)
2:00 pm
2/8/2016 Sentencing Hearing
(William Tis)
2:00 pm
2/11/2016 Sentencing Hearing
(Dennis P. Farrell)
2:00 pm
2/17/2016 Sentencing Hearing
(Gary Southern)
2:00 pm

US v Farrell, Tis, Herzing, Southern Superseding Indictment
US v Farrell, Tis, Herzing, Southern 2nd Superseding Indictment

United States v. Freedom Industries, Inc. 

Court Date Event Time
2/4/2016 Sentencing Hearing 2:00 pm

US v Freedom Information

United States v. Michael E. Burdette 

Court Date Event Time
2/4/2016 Sentencing Hearing 2:30 pm

US v Burdette Information

United States v. Robert J. Reynolds 

Court Date Event Time
2/1/2016 Sentencing Hearing 2:00 pm

US v Reynolds Information


These proceedings will all be held at:
Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse
300 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV  25301


Updated February 3, 2016

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