/ Articles / State drops reckless homicide charge against Noble

State drops reckless homicide charge against Noble

November 05, 2019 by Jamie Taylor

Bradley F. Noble, 59, of St. Germain, is no longer facing a reckless homicide charge alleging he provided the drugs which led to the overdose death of Wesley F. Hoeft in February of 2018. Just prior to a scheduled preliminary hearing in Noble’s case on Thursday, Oct. 31, Oneida County assistant district attorney Jillian Pfeifer filed an amended complaint which did not include the homicide charge. 

Noble was originally charged Aug. 14 with first degree negligent homicide, two counts of possession of narcotic drugs, possession with intent to deliver narcotic drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested following a traffic stop.

The criminal complaint alleges that when sheriff’s deputies searched the car Noble was driving they found sizable quantities of heroin and fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, a digital scale and numerous items that showed they had been used for the consumption of various drugs. 

Noble was pulled over because an Oneida County deputy recognized him, ran a check and discovered his driving privileges were suspended and he had an active arrest warrant out of Vilas County.

After Pfeifer filed the amended complaint last Thursday, Noble’s court-appointed attorneys Jessica Phelps and Katena Roberts-Turner said their client was willing to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. Judge Patrick O’Melia ruled that, based the amended complaint, there is probable cause Noble may have committed a felony and bound him over for further proceedings.

Pfeifer requested a separate date for an arraignment.

The new attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss one of the possession of narcotic drug charges since they allege Noble was in possession of heroin in two different containers.

O’Melia said while the drug in both counts was the same, they were not duplicate charges.

“It’s close in terms of proximity,” O’Melia said, adding that one container was allegedly in Noble’s pocket while the other was in the vehicle he was driving at the time.

Phelps then argued for a reduction of the $40,000 cash bond set earlier in the case to either a signature bond or a lower cash bond. She said in her client’s limited involvement with the criminal justice system, he had never failed to make a court date. She also said that with the homicide charge being changed to manufacturer or delivery of heroin <3 grams, the original cash bond was no longer justified.

Pfeifer objected, arguing that while she could not prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” Noble provided the drugs which led to Hoeft’s death, the defendant continued to bring drugs into Oneida County from the southern part of the state for over a year since then.

O’Melia agreed some reduction in bond was in order, but found a signature bond to be inappropriate in light of the charges.

“It is a different animal with the homicide charge being dropped,” O’Melia said. “So the court will lower the cash bond, but it’s still cash — $20,000. He was still bringing dangerous drugs into this area, on at least two occasions alleged in the complaint. Heroin, cocaine, pills, all apparently for sale because of the scale. So it’s still serious offenses.”

O’Melia then scheduled the arraignment for Nov. 18.

Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at [email protected]

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