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Whoever happens to stop by this blog may wonder why I started it. Whenever I read news stories online I always like to put a face to the story. So I got to thinking maybe other people would as well. I always keep up on WV news and most stories don't have the mugshots with them so I hunt them up online and post them with the story. It's not that hard and I don't know why the state news sites don't do it

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Murder suspect in court

WHEELING - Less than 24 hours after turning himself into authorities, Jarell L. Hurt appeared before Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby this morning on a murder charge in connection with the Sept. 13 death of 19-year-old Ashley Blankenship.

Hurt, 21, of 129 15th St., Wheeling, appeared before Roxby via a video teleconference arraignment from the Northern Regional Jail at Moundsville.

After Roxby informed Hurt of the first- degree murder charge against him, and that conviction of the charge could result in life in prison, Hurt requested a court appointed attorney.

Roxby said Hurt now has an option to ask for a preliminary hearing in magistrate court or wait for the case to be presented to an Ohio County grand jury. Hurt will remain in jail pending a circuit court bond hearing.

Today's arraignment came after Hurt turned himself in to Wheeling police at 7:15 p.m. Monday, hours after police issued a release stating a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

A criminal complaint against Hurt - filed on the date Blankenship's body was found inside a 39 Eagle Ave. apartment - reveals that Hurt resided at that address.

The complaint notes that responding officers found the body lying beside a couch in the living room with a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the complaint, Blankenship was identified through a cellular telephone found at the scene and by the word "Ash" tattooed on her body.

It notes that officers located paperwork, a birth certificate and other assorted mail containing Hurt's name inside the apartment.

The complaint indicates a witness told police she and Blankenship were together at a 15th Street residence prior to the murder. The witness said Blankenship had been speaking to and texting another individual throughout the night and Blankenship later left the home in the individual's car.

At a later date, the complaint notes, the individual said that he and Hurt had taken Blankenship to the Eagle Avenue apartment. He said Blankenship was sitting on the arm of a couch when Hurt shot her in the head. "(The individual) said he ran outside and entered his vehicle," the complaint notes.

"Hurt followed and was carrying a brown paper with his bloody clothes in it. (The individual) said he drove to a Wheeling Island address and, upon arrival, Hurt exited the car with the paper bag and ran northwest."

The individual told officers that Hurt returned without the bag or gun and began cleaning himself off with bleach in a shower at the residence.

A resident of the Wheeling Island address told police she received a telephone call informing her about the murder and she then told the individual and Hurt to leave her home, the report notes.


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