UPDATE: W.Va. Sheriff Shooting Suspect's Trial Postponed

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
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UPDATE 2/11/2014 3:15 PM

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A judge indefinitely postponed the trial of a man charged in last year's fatal shooting of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell announced the delay Tuesday during a status conference in Huntington.

Tennis Melvin Maynard had been scheduled to go on trial March 4. He's charged with murder.

Defense attorney Rich Weston says the delay involved Maynard's medical records.

Farrell ordered Maynard in November to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Crum was fatally shot last April in a downtown Williamson parking lot as he ate lunch in his parked vehicle.

Maynard also is charged with attempted murder linked to the pointing of a loaded firearm at a Mingo County sheriff's corporal and with fleeing. He also faces federal firearms charges.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/23/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - Mingo County authorities are fighting allegations that former Sheriff Eugene Crum raped the man who's been charged with killing him.

Tennis Melvin Maynard is accused of shooting Crum on April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson. Maynard's father told media outlets following a court hearing this week that Crum had raped his son, providing a possible motive for the shooting. Maynard's brother said attempts to report sexual abuse were ignored by authorities.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Maynard's family for comment were unsuccessful.

Prosecutor Michael Sparks says his office investigated and will dispute both claims at court, if they are brought up.

Maynard has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Jury selection in the trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 9.

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UPDATED: 08/20/2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A December trial date has been set for the man charged with killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum earlier this year.

Media outlets report Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell on Tuesday set aside two weeks for the trial of Tennis Melvin Maynard. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Dec. 9 in Mingo County.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson. He also is charged with attempted murder linked to the pointing of a loaded firearm at Mingo County Sheriff's Corporal Norman Mines and fleeing with reckless indifference. Maynard has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A motions hearing will be held Oct. 15.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATED: 08/19/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A sexual assault investigation that occurred more than a decade ago could be evidence in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

The Sunday Gazette-Mail says West Virginia State Police investigated allegations that Crum sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in 2001 when he was Delbarton's police chief.

The newspaper says state police concluded that the sex was consensual. No charges were filed.

A 2002 report on the investigation is included on a list of potential evidence filed by Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks in July.

Sparks told the newspaper that he couldn't discuss potential evidence.

Tennis Maynard is charged with fatally shooting Crum on April 3.

Maynard's attorney, Richard Weston, tells the newspaper that the sexual assault allegations support the general nature of the defense. He wouldn't elaborate.

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UPDATED: 5/15/2013 05:44PM

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia man accused of gunning down Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum plans to ask a judge for bail June 17.

Tennis Melvin Maynard also faces a tentative Oct. 21 trial. The 37-year-old received the court dates at a Wednesday arraignment.

Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Crum on April 3. The sheriff was parked in downtown Williamson.

After a short vehicle chase, authorities say Maynard pulled a gun on a deputy who then shot and wounded him. Maynard wore hospital garments at Wednesday's hearing.

A grand jury indicted Maynard on first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing charges.

Investigators have not discussed a possible motive. Maynard's father has said his son has mental health issues.

Crum's widow was appointed sheriff after his killing and she attended Maynard's arraignment.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/22/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - A Mingo County grand jury has indicted the man accused of killing Sheriff Eugene Crum.

An official in the circuit clerk's office said that a grand jury on Monday charged 37-year-old Tennis Maynard with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing authorities.

State Police charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on a deputy during a chase that followed the April 3 slaying. The deputy told investigators he shot Maynard in self-defense.

Investigators have not discussed a possible motive.

Maynard remains hospitalized in Huntington. No arraignment date has been set.

Authorities have said Maynard bought several guns after he'd been determined legally ineligible to own them.

It's unclear why he couldn't own guns, but Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had been institutionalized.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/12/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A prosecutor says a man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff bought several guns - not just one - after he had been determined legally ineligible to own them.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks says the purchases were made after February 2010, when 37-year-old Tennis Maynard was deemed ineligible. Sparks hasn't said why Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun, but the suspect's father says Maynard had mental problems and had been institutionalized.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.

But a state database that shares such information with a national background-check system wasn't operational until January 2011. Sparks says Maynard's purchases were made before then, including the weapon allegedly used to shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum in Williamson.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/11/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal prosecutor says he's investigating whether a man charged with killing a West Virginia sheriff lied on a gun application in violation of U.S. law.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday he wants to look at the form filled out by 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, including whether he was truthful about his personal information.

Maynard is accused of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3 as the lawman ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun but wouldn't disclose why. Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 4/10/2013 3:00 PM

Sheriff Eugene Crum was fatally shot April 3 as he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

Police say Tennis Melvin Maynard point blank shot him.

Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks has not yet said where Maynard, 37, bought the gun.

But Sparks did make a comment saying "it appears that the system didn't work." Sparks also declined to elaborate on why Maynard was not allowed to have a gun.

But in recent interviews, Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.


UPDATE: 04/07/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - The prosecuting attorney in Mingo County says there's no substantial evidence at this time that Sheriff Eugene Crum's murder was drug-related.

C. Michael Sparks issued a statement Saturday on the speculation between Crum's drug enforcement efforts and his murder earlier this week.

In the statement, Sparks asked the public to refrain from "engaging in unfounded speculation and conjecture" regarding the motive for the murder.

WCHS-TV reports that Sparks says investigations by the Williamson Police Department and West Virginia State Police are ongoing and comprehensive.

Crum made it his mission to clean up the county's pervasive drug problem.

The 59-year-old sheriff was shot to death in a downtown Williamson parking lot where he ate his lunch each day. His funeral is Sunday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - The late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum made it his mission to clean up the county's pervasive drug problem.

He wanted residents to live without fear that illegal drugs were being sold in their neighborhoods. He wanted to cut off the flow of drugs that he said often were coming from prescriptions from out-of-state doctors.

Many say he was largely successful in achieving those goals in his short time in office. He was gunned down earlier this week in a downtown Williams parking

His funeral is Sunday, four days after the 59-year-old sheriff was shot to death in a downtown Williamson parking lot where he ate his lunch each day.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/04/2013 05:00pm

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - The widow of a slain West Virginia sheriff has been appointed to take his place.

Mingo County Commission President John Mark Humphrey says Rosie Crum was named interim sheriff during a commission meeting Thursday afternoon.

Her husband, Eugene Crum, was shot to death Wednesday while eating lunch in his patrol car in downtown Williamson. Rosie Crum was visiting a newborn grandson in Indiana at the time.

She didn't attend the commission meeting or an afternoon announcement that was attended by her two children, their spouses and several grandchildren.

Humphrey says Rosie Crum has the full support of the sheriff's department. He noted that the role of overseeing drug crime fighting in the county remains with Williamson Police Chief and county Drug Task Force Commander Dave Rockel.

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UPDATE: 04/04/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - Police say witnesses told investigators that a West Virginia man was alone when he fatally shot a sheriff eating lunch in his patrol car.

Mingo County Drug Task Force Commander and Williamson Chief of Police Dave Rockel says police still don't know why Tennis Melvin Maynard shot Sheriff Eugene Crum. But they don't believe Maynard had an accomplice.

Rockel says Williamson police have charged the 37-year-old Maynard with first-degree murder. State Police have charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on a sheriff's deputy who then shot and wounded him.

Rockel says Maynard remains at a Huntington hospital.

Maynard's father, Melvin Maynard, has said his son suffered from mental health problems and did not have a vendetta against law enforcement.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/04/2013 05:00pm

DELBARTON, W.Va. (AP) - A funeral service for Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum will be held Sunday in Delbarton.

The West Virginia Sheriff's Association says in a Facebook posting that the service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mingo Central High School. A visitation is set for 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the high school.

Chafin Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Crum was fatally shot in Williamson on Wednesday.

The suspect, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, was shot and wounded by a Mingo County deputy following a chase. State police say the deputy shot Maynard after he pulled a weapon.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/04/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - The father of the man suspected of killing a West Virginia sheriff says his son has mental health problems and doesn't have a vendetta against police.

Melvin Maynard said Thursday that his 37-year-old son, Tennis Melvin Maynard, developed mental issues after he was exposed to chemicals on a job in Alabama.

The elder Maynard would not elaborate on what kind of mental health problems his son had. But he says he believes his son would have shot the first person he saw.

Tennis Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on Wednesday in Williamson. A deputy shot Maynard in Delbarton after he crashed his car into a bridge during a chase.

State Police have charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on the deputy.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/04/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - State Police have charged the man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on a deputy who chased and eventually shot him.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said charges for the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum will be filed separately by the Williamson Police Department.

The suspect is 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard.

He was shot in Delbarton after crashing his car into a bridge during the chase with a deputy.

Authorities say he is being treated at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, but they have not commented on his condition.

Hospital spokesman Charles Shumaker refused to comment or confirm whether Maynard was a patient Thursday, citing federal privacy laws.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Just months before being gunned down, Sheriff Eugene Crum made good on a campaign promise to do what many in law enforcement have attempted in southern West Virginia - crack down on drugs, especially the illegal sale of prescription pills.

In three months and two days on the job, he'd already helped indict dozens of suspected drug dealers through Mingo County's new Operation Zero Tolerance.

Authorities haven't said whether that work was related to his shooting death at midday on a street in the small town of Williamson on Wednesday, but residents and county officials suspect it.

Crum's team has targeted people "who spread the disease of addiction among our residents," said County Commission President John Mark Hubbard.

Resident Jerry Cline stood near the site of the slaying hours later, the drug crackdown clearly at the forefront of his thoughts.

"He told them right before he got in as sheriff, 'If you're dealing drugs, I'm coming after you. I'm cleaning this town up,'" Cline said. "He got out just to do one thing, and that's to clean this town up. That's all that man tried to do."

Authorities were mum about a possible connection between Crum and the suspect, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, who was shot and wounded by a Mingo deputy following a chase and after state police said he pulled a weapon.

State Police Capt. David Nelson said Maynard was being treated late Wednesday night at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington but did not comment on his condition. Hospital spokesman Charles Shumaker refused to comment or confirm whether Maynard was a patient Thursday, citing federal privacy laws.

At a news conference hours after the killing, officials mourned the fallen sheriff, but released few details of the shooting, which happened just blocks away from the county courthouse.

"We were and we are proud of him and his service," Commissioner Hubbard said. "To say Eugene will be missed is a vast understatement."

A bouquet of red roses with a red ribbon was fastened to a guardrail above the parking lot where the shooting happened.

Though there is no indication of any connection, Crum's killing comes on the heels of a Texas district attorney and his wife being shot to death in their home over the weekend, and just weeks after Colorado's corrections director also was gunned down at his home.

Those bold killings and others have led authorities to propose more protection for law enforcers.

Crum was killed in the same place where he parked his car most days to eat lunch, near the site of a former pharmacy known for illegally distributing pills, a "pill mill" the sheriff wanted to be sure remained shut, said Delegate Harry Keith White, who campaigned with Crum last year.

"I think anybody you ask would tell you he was a great guy, always with a positive attitude, always trying to help people," White said. "It's just a sad, sad day for Mingo County and the state of West Virginia."

Operation Zero Tolerance was Crum's way to make good on a campaign pledge, White said.

State, federal and local authorities have all tried to clamp down on West Virginia's drug problem, which centers on the illegal sale of prescription drugs in the southern counties. Mingo County is in the southwest corner of West Virginia, on the Kentucky border.

In February, federal officials said they had prosecuted more than 200 pill dealers in the past two years in West Virginia.

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, the Democrat whose district includes Mingo County, said the sheriff, who was married with two children, was new to his job but not to the cause of justice.

"Every law-abiding citizen demands justice for this tragedy that has shaken our sense of decency, but not our resolve, to maintain law and order," he said.

Crum had been a magistrate for 12 years and had previously served as police chief in Delbarton. He won the primary handily and ran unopposed in the general election in the fall.

Williamson, a town of 3,200, sits along the Tug Fork River in a part of the state long associated with violence. Mingo and neighboring McDowell County are home to the legendary blood feud between the Hatfield family of West Virginia and the McCoy family of Kentucky, a conflict dating to the Civil War.

Crum's county was dubbed "Bloody Mingo" during the early 20th century mine wars, when unionizing miners battled Baldwin-Felts security agents hired by the coal operators.

Crum's killing saddened and disturbed Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has described himself as "America's toughest sheriff" and is a national hero to conservatives on immigration issues.

Arpaio himself has been the target of numerous threats, prompting the need for a security detail. Some have said the same protection should be afforded to others who battle criminals.

"Inside one year, two of my deputies were shot, one killed and one nearly killed and now elected law enforcement officials across the nation seem to be being targeted," he said. "The brazenness of these acts is confounding."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/04/2013

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - Authorities in West Virginia are trying to sort out if a sheriff was gunned down because of his pledge to rid his southern county of drugs that plague it and other parts of the state.

In three months and two days on the job, Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum already had helped indict dozens of suspected drug dealers through his new Operation Zero Tolerance. Although authorities haven't said whether that crusade was related to his death in Williamson on Wednesday, residents and county officials suspect it.

Authorities were mum on any motive and the connection between Crum and their suspect, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard.

State police say a Mingo deputy shot and wounded Maynard after a chase and after the suspect pulled a weapon.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/03/2013 4:35pm

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - State Police say the man suspected of shooting a West Virginia sheriff to death is in a hospital with gunshot wounds.

Sgt. Michael Baylous identified the man Wednesday as 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard and said he was being treated at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington.

Baylous did not describe his condition but said Maynard was shot by a sheriff's deputy after a short pursuit in Delbarton that ended with Maynard crashing his car.

Maynard is suspected of killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. The sheriff was gunned down Wednesday in the spot where he usually parked his car and ate lunch in Williamson.

Crum was elected last year and has been cracking down on the drug trade, but it's unclear whether his death was related to the new Operation Zero Tolerance.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/03/2013 2:02pm

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - A state official says Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been fatally shot and a suspect is custody.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's chief of staff, Rob Alsop, says state police told the governor that Crum died after he was shot Wednesday.

Mingo County Office of Emergency Services head dispatcher Willis Spence says the shooting occurred in Williamson within a block of the Mingo County Courthouse.

Alsop says the suspect also was shot and was taken to a hospital in Logan.

Spence says the courthouse is closed.

Further information wasn't immediately available.

Spence says a news conference is planned for 6 p.m.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 4/3/13 1:54 PM

Police confirm Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has died as a result of injuries after being shot.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Officials tell Charleston media outlets Sheriff Crum was on his lunch break when he got shot.

The entire courthouse has been evacuated.

The Williamson Police Department says the shooter is in custody.

_____________________________________________________
Police in Williamson, WV confirm Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot.

They say it happened right outside the Mingo County Courthouse shortly after noon on Wednesday.

Police confirm the suspect has also been shot by a Mingo County Sheriff's Deputy and is in custody. The name of the suspect isn't being released at this time.

Both the suspect and Sheriff Crum were taken to Williamson Memorial Hospital. There's no word on extent of injuries.


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