Death Investigation

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An autopsy is underway to determine the exact cause of death of a Wirt County man, but Belpre police believe Leo Pettrey died of head injuries after a fight a week ago.

The 27-year-old Palestine man died at Camden-Clark Hospital three days after the early morning incident last Tuesday.

Police say Leo Pettrey became involved in a fight inside a Clement Avenue home and was knocked to the floor. He later was struck again when he tried to apologize for the incident, and this time he was knocked to the ground.

Ira Walker, Belpre Police Chief, says, “This was after the party when they went to the other person's residence where an altercation had ensued. Consequently, we ended up with the results that we have.”

Chief Walker would not name a suspect in Pettrey's death, but says the individual could be charged with negligent homicide pending the outcome of the investigation.

The case is expected to go to the Washington County grand jury.

“We're looking at charges of negligent homicide, which is similar to involuntary manslaughter,” adds Ira.

The case will have to go to the prosecutor to present to the grand jury.