CLARKSBURG -- Joshua Chance Morgan, 25, of Salem is charged with first degree murder, nighttime burglary and conspiracy, for his connection with the Greenwood Hills murder of Clarence Leeson, according to Sgt. Jason Snider.
Morgan turned himself into the Clarksburg Police Department on Friday, Nov. 21 and is being held without bond in the North Central Regional Jail.
Christopher Robey, 26, and Megan Titus, 21, were arrested in San Diego as part of the murder investigation and will be brought back to W.Va. next week.
Police are still searching for the last suspect, Nicholas Robey.
The four allegedly broke into Leeson home and sturck him in the head with an unknown object, causing his death. Several guns and other items were stolen from the home.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
WHEELING -- Terry Lee Herring, 30, was arrested Saturday around 2 a.m. after a Wheeling resident came to police complaining their home had been burglarized.
Herring is in the Northern Regional Jail on $11,000 bond.
He is charged with nighttime burglary and petty larceny.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two suspects in what police described as the "gruesome" killing of South Charleston resident James Andrew Gillespie are now in custody after each turned himself in to police in separate circumstances without incident Saturday.
South Charleston Police Sgt. Michael Greathouse said a lawyer for Michael Thompson called early Saturday to say his client wanted to turn himself in. Greathouse was one of four officers who went to an address on Pinch Street in South Charleston to get Thompson.
"I don't know what connection the house had to anyone, but we were told he would be waiting on the steps," Greathouse said.
He also said the suspect, who is 18, had nothing to say, acting on the advice of his lawyer.
Police continued to search for the second suspect, Jimmy Eugene Thompson, 19, of 505 E St., South Charleston, hours after the first turned himself in.
But negotiations resulted in Jimmy Thompson turning himself in a few hours later. The two men are not related.
South Charleston Police Chief Brad Rinehart said that he and other officers had been negotiating with "mutual parties" to have the second Thompson turn himself in.
Rinehart said, "I want to reassure neighbors in that area that this was an isolated incident. The detective bureau has been working around the clock, and this shows their dedication."
Rinehart said Jimmy Thompson will be arraigned and likely taken to the South Central Regional Jail.
Police think both men knew Gillespie, who was found dead in his Macon Street home in South Charleston on Friday.
Police say both men had been in the victim's home earlier in the day drinking, according to a report Detective A.R. Gordon filed in Kanawha County Magistrate's Court after the first suspect was arrested.
A witness told police the men "were going to steal the victim's prescription medication." According to the police report, as soon as the victim realized his prescription drugs could be stolen, one suspect punched the victim in the face.
The witness who later contacted police fled as soon as he saw a suspect punch the victim, according to the same report.
Detective J.D. Gray of the South Charleston Police Department said a medical examiner performed an autopsy on Gillespie on Saturday, but he declined to give details.
According to Gordon's report in Magistrate's Court, Gillespie had been beaten and stabbed numerous times. After an appearance before a magistrate, Michael Thompson was taken to the South Central Regional Jail where he was being held without bond on a murder charge.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.- One of two teenagers wanted in connection with a gruesome murder in South Charleston has turned himself in to police.
South Charleston Police say 18-year-old Michael Shane Thompson's attorney contacted them this morning saying he wanted to surrender. He has since been taken into custody -- and is going to the hospital to get checked out.
19-year-old Jimmy Eugene Thompson is still wanted in connected with the case. Police say the two Thompsons, who are not related, killed 51-year-old James Gillispie at his home on Macon Street Friday morning during some sort of physical altercation. The scene was described by detectives as "gruesome."
Officers say the suspects and the victim were acquaintances -- and the teens had been at his house in the past.
CLARKSBURG -- The third suspect in the stabbing death of Terry Lewis, 61, was returned to West Virginia on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Jeffrey Taylor, 21, was arrested in Meansville, GA for his connection to the Oct. 25 home invasion and stabbing in Quiet Dell.
Taylor, Alexander Bosley, 21, and Cindy Allman, 18, have all been charged with first degree murder. Officials say Bosley and Allman have confessed to their roles in the stabbing and break-in, but could not comment on what Taylor revealed during his interrogation.
The department is processing the physical evidence recovered from the scene now, according to Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Pat McCarty. Some of those items may have been used to stab Lewis to death.
Taylor, Bosley, and Allman had just recently met, McCarty said, but he could not comment on how or where.
Taylor had been living in Georgia, but McCarty said he came to West Virginia because he had a girlfriend here.
He was also arrested in June 2008 for grand larceny auto, according to court documents, for allegedly stealing his girlfriend's vehicle. That charge was later dropped.
Magistrate Tammy Marple arraigned Taylor on Friday, Nov. 20. He is in the North Central Regional Jail, with no bond set. Bosley and Allman are being held there as well.
ST. ALBANS -- 18 year old Herschel Dylan Cole of South Charleston was arrested early Saturday morning, according to a press release issued by the Saint Albans Police Department.
He's accused of stealing several items from a residence in the 2200 block of Grant Avenue in St. Albans.
The man living in the residence woke up to find Cole in his house, According to the press release.
Cole fled the scene, but police found him about four houses down from where he committed the robbery.
Police have said that Cole confessed to working about three hours to steal all of the items, one of which included a 50 inch Plasma Television.
He was charged with Nighttime Burglary, and was taken to the South Central Regional Jail for arraignment.
According the police officers, the items were all returned to the resident.
Two of the men involved in the robbery of Mountain Valley Bank in Mill Creek in December 2008 were sentenced for their roles in the crime Friday morning in Randolph County Circuit Court.
Randolph County Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong sentenced Carl A. Hughes, 24, and Joshua Pennington, 23, to the maximum penalties for their felony convictions. Hughes received 11 to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count each of bank robbery and conspiracy, both felonies. Pennington was sentenced to one to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy, a felony. Both men were also fined $10,000 each.
Hughes was represented by attorney Russell Stobbs and Pennington was represented by attorney Tim Prentice.
Prior to handing down Hughes' sentence, Wilfong said she was imposing the maximum penalty but still doesn't think it's enough.
"Any sentence I impose cannot repair the damage that you have done, not only to the employees of this bank but everyone in this community," Wilfong said. "Bank robbery just isn't something that is supposed to happen here. This is a nice, quiet, law-abiding community. You're not even from here. You came from outside of our county and committed a horrible offense ... I'm sentencing you to the maximum sentence that I can give you, but quite frankly I don't think it's enough."
Following the hearings, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Richard T. Busch said the safety of the community is "paramount," and placing the men in prison for a lengthy term helps ensure that safety.
"I believe that the true essence of the crime was not the taking of the $20,000," Busch said. "Yes, Hughes and Pennington stole $20,000, but more importantly they stole the safety and the security and the comfort of these employees. When the employees went to work that day, they were thinking about Christmas and New Years, they weren't thinking about having a gun put in their face ... Once someone has a gun pointed at their head and their life threatened, nothing can change that. The horrible memories of the Mountain Valley Bank robbery will never go away."
Mountain Valley Bank President Dick Harvey also spoke at both hearings. He was accompanied by two bank employees, but neither addressed the court.
During Hughes' hearing, Harvey said the robbery has had a "traumatic effect" on the bank's employees.
"During the holiday season last year, our good and honest, hard-working employees were confronted by somebody coming in the bank who was very loud and abrasive with a loaded gun," Harvey said. "By the grace of God, no customers came into the bank. Who knows what would have happened at that point. The trauma and psychological distress and terror our folks experienced that day were beyond description."
Hughes did not speak on his own behalf during his hearing.
Pennington told the court he did not know Hughes was going to use his car to rob the bank. Instead, he said he thought Hughes was going to use the car to rob a drug dealer living in the community.
"I just want to apologize to the victims and the community for even getting involved in the crime," Pennington said. "I had no prior knowledge of the bank being robbed. Although, I did conspire to receive the stolen money. I had my choice to turn the offer down and I chose to accept the money."
Hughes and Pennington were named in a nine-count indictment that accused the duo of conspiring to rob Mountain Valley Bank in Mill Creek on Dec. 30, 2008, and Hughes of committing the robbery.
Hughes was initially charged with seven felonies including conspiracy, first-degree robbery, bank robbery with a dangerous weapon, wanton endangerment involving a firearm, grand larceny, transfer of stolen goods and attempting to escape custody. Pennington was charged with one count each of conspiracy and receiving stolen goods.
According to the indictment, Hughes is accused of pointing a .38 caliber revolver at the face of a bank teller and commanding her to give him the money in the drawer during the robbery. He is accused of taking $21,060.
Pennington is charged with receiving more than $1,000, "in which he knew to be stolen in a bank robbery," the indictment states.
A third man, Matthew Pennington, 22, of 1303 Essex St., Bluefield, pleaded guilty in May to an information charging him with one count of grand larceny, a felony. Matthew Pennington was accused of driving the getaway car during the robbery.
Wilfong sentenced Matthew Pennington to two to 10 years in the state penitentiary. She also included a recommendation to the parole board that Pennington serve a minimum of five years to account for each victim inside the bank during the time of the robbery.