Wednesday, May 04, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...5-5-'11
- West Virginia State Police launched a manhunt for 37 year old Craig Edward Hite Wednesday morning in Mingo County after Williamson troopers discovered, around 8:00 A.M., a woman was killed and two other people were injured at a home on Weed Patch Lane in Varney. Charla Hite was fatally stabbed, and Homer Hite was stabbed in the stomach and the arm, while another woman was also injured. Police say Craig Hite is also wanted for a home invasion in Georgia. Police arrested Hite Wednesday evening not far from where the crime occurred.
- A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday for 67 year old Mary Louise Bowles, a Raleigh County woman charged with the murder of her daughter, Cathy Jo McCoy. Bowles was arrested on April 28, 2010, after the bones of her daughter, which were found on Grace Walker Mountain in March, were identified. McCoy had been missing since June of 2000. In Wednesday's hearing, Trooper T.L. Bragg said Bowles collected her daughter's Social Security checks for three years, and at no point reported her missing. Geraldine Tincher testified that she was living with Bowles and her husband when McCoy first disappeared. She said Bowles told her she was taking her daughter to Hinton to pay bills on the day she went missing. When Bowles returned that night, Tincher said she was soaking wet, with the bottom of her pants covered in mud. McCoy's son took the stand and testified he was never able to get a straight answer from Mary Bowles about what happened to his mother. When asked whether she killed her daughter on her way out of the hearing, Mary Bowles named her deceased husband as her daughter’s killer. The case is headed to the Summers County grand jury.
- Massey Energy Co. says it's offered families of the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion $3 million each to settle their claims. Massey held out for months before accepting a $7.1 billion buyout from Alpha Natural Resources. Massey secured a sweetened offer of 1.025 shares of Alpha stock plus $10 in cash for each of its shares. Massey and Alpha filed the proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday and are seeking shareholder support in a June 1st voting for the deal.
- On April 29th, the same day Massey Energy Co. announced a nearly $8 million first quarter loss, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration issued 20 withdrawal orders and five citations to the Randolph Mine, an underground coal mine operated by Inman Energy in Boone County. An inspection revealed violations of the ventilation plan in the underground mine, combustible materials accumulating in active workings, coal dust built up enough that it was engulfing the continuous miner operator and shuttle car operator, unused ventilation curtains, and insufficient water pressure on the continuous miner's water sprays. MSHA Chief Joe Main says the conduct and behavior exhibited when the mine operator was caught by surprise was nothing short of outrageous.
- Putnam County Delegate 59 year old Dale Martin of Poca was found dead in his truck Wednesday in South Charleston. Martin's family had filed a missing person's report with the State Police because they had not seen him since Monday. Martin, the chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, was first elected to the House in 2000 to represent the 13th district which includes parts of Putnam, Mason and Jackson counties, a member of the West Virginia AFL-CIO and a Union Carbide retiree.
- Gregory Alan Jeffries of Belle is facing a felony charge of witness intimidation after telling another man he would beat him up if he testified against his 17 year old son who was charged with three counts of first-degree arson after allegedly setting fire to a trash bin behind Belle Elementary School and a carport at a Fifth Street home in March.
- Jeremy Keil and his father Robert Keil of St. Albans were in Kanawha County Circuit Court Wednesday after being arrested in December and charged with operating a meth lab. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate a meth lab, and as part of that plea, all other charges were dismissed. They are scheduled to be sentenced in July.
- Forty-one year Donald Melvin Powell Jr. of Elkview has been charged with operating a meth lab, exposing children to meth, possession of pseudoephedrine out of its original state, and cultivation of marijuana. State Police went to his home on Walker Road Tuesday to investigate a tip of a possible meth lab on the property. Inside a garage, they found marijuana plants and meth making materials, including muriatic acid, a gas generator and tubing. Inside the home they found Powell's 15 year old son and 9 year old stepson and several other adults. All were evacuated.
- Sixty-year-old Darryl J. Hodgkinson of Huntington pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week to theft of public money. Federal prosecutors say Hodgkinson falsified his service record in Vietnam, including combat awards, citations and experiences, in applying for Veterans Affairs benefits he wasn't entitled to receive. He received nearly $325,000 in benefits from 2001 to 2010. Hodgkinson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced August 15th.
- Police are asking for your help after a man walked into the Kentucky Fried Chicken on West Washington Street in Charleston just before 9:00 P.M. Tuesday night and robbed it at gunpoint. Police say the robber entered the store wearing a mask and hooded sweatshirt and demanded money then got into a vehicle and took off. This is the fourth robbery in Charleston in the last week. Lt. S.A. Cooper says the suspect in all four incidents has been described as a black man standing between 5 feet, 7 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches and weighing about 160 pounds. He is between 35 and 45 years old and has jaundiced eyes. He also has worn a hooded sweatshirt in all of the robberies.
- Members of the Kanawha Sheriff's Tactical Operations Patrol team conducted a traffic stop near Marmet Tuesday in which deputies found Lori Lucas, 44, of Hernshaw, of Kanawha County, had prescription pills and 10 plastic bags of marijuana in her vehicle. Lucas was taken into custody and deputies went to her Lens Creek Road home to search for more drugs. Deputies found 1.9 pounds of packaged marijuana inside the home and 124 marijuana plants growing behind the home.
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