W.Va. grand jury returns indictment

May 21, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County grand jury indicted three Martinsburg residents for a January holdup at a convenience store, a Martinsburg man for allegedly firing a gun during a domestic dispute with his girlfriend and her son, and another man accused of nearly running over a state trooper during a high-speed chase.

The indictments were among two dozen handed down by the grand jury that met on Monday in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Two women and a man were indicted for armed robbery of the One Stop Convenience Store.

Yolanda "Yo Yo" Williams, 22, Janelle Kendricks, 30, and Ricco Jermaine Ballard, 22, were arrested in January after Martinsburg City Police received a tip, according to court records.


One woman, identified as Williams in the court records, held a .22-caliber handgun demanded money, according to court records.

The clerk, Ruby Birmingham, was ordered to get down on the floor and count to 1,000, charging documents said. She did as ordered, but a robber struck her in the head, charging documents said.

The store was robbed of $323 and the robbers later divided up the money, according to court records.

In a separate case, Raymond Ray Hamilton Jr., of Martinsburg, was indicted for two counts of domestic assault and two counts of wanton endangerment, according to court records.

Hamilton, 48, was sitting in the dark at his home one night in February when he said to his girlfriend, Gaynithia Smith, "You totally disrespected me," according to court records.

He then added to her son, Louis Travers, "It's time for you all to pay," according to court records.

Hamilton then allegedly pointed a handgun at Smith's head and fired, according to court records.

Smith dropped behind the couch as the shot was fired, court records said. No one was hit and police were called, according to court records.

In another case, the grand jury charged Donald E. Tabler III, 28, of Martinsburg, with unlawful assault.

West Virginia State Police clocked a man driving 85 mph on Interstate 81 and began to pursue him, according to court records. The driver exited at Tuscarora Pike and troopers followed the vehicle down several back roads, according to court records.

Trooper Jeff Phillips set up a road block with his cruiser blocking the right hand lane at Union Corner Road ahead of the chase, according to court records.

Phillips stood in the left lane, waving his flashlight and attempting to get the driver to stop, charging documents said.

Instead, the driver allegedly drove straight at the trooper, who narrowly avoided being struck by lunging out of the way, according to court records.

The driver crashed when he struck a concrete wall while attempting to turn onto Tabler Station Road, according to court records. The driver was aprehended with the help of a police dog, court records said.

Other people indicted by the grand jury on Monday include:

- Thomas K. Miller, 29, of Hagerstown, was charged with unlawful assault and attempted extortion. He allegedly used a blunt instrument to strike a woman and also attempted to extort $300 from her, according to court records.

- Timothy L. Turner, 28, of Martinsburg, for brandishing a weapon and arson. He is accused of waving a butcher knife at his mother and then setting fire to their house in February 14, 1997.

- Daniel Wayne Lyons, 40, address unavailable. He was indicted on four counts of unlawfully evading state consumer sales and service tax. The alleged offenses date back to Dec. 31, 1995, according to court records.

- Larry C. Swanson, 48, of Martinsburg. He was charged with robbery for his alleged involvement in the April 17 holdup of a clerk at Evans Florist, according to court records.

- Larry G.Beamer, 35, of Bunker Hill, W.Va. He was charged with sexual assault. A man was giving a woman a ride in his truck when he allegedly pulled over, began fondling her, and then made her perform oral sex, according to court records.

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