Catlett charged with possessing stolen car

October 21, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - When Banner Cornell Catlett returns to Berkeley County, he will find himself facing another charge besides murder.

On Tuesday, a grand jury meeting in Berkeley County Circuit Court indicted him for possession of a stolen vehicle for a theft he allegedly committed the day before the slaying of Andrew Mason of Hedgesville.

Catlett, 21, of Hedgesville, last week waived extradition back to West Virginia from Los Angeles, where he was arrested Sept. 29. Catlett had escaped Sept. 6 from the William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston, W.Va.

At the time of his escape, he was awaiting a Sept. 23 trial date in the death of Mason, who was found shot twice in the head at his home on Feb. 4.


On Tuesday the grand jury indicted him on a charge of possessing a vehicle stolen on Feb. 3 in Middletown, Va. The car was stolen at 7:30 p.m. while the owner was paying for a purchase at a gas station, according to court records.

The wrecked car was found by police along W.Va. 7 at about 9:30 p.m., court records said.

No date has been set for Catlett's return, but the job of transporting him from Los Angeles will apparently be done by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said Monday the task might go to an inmate transportation service, but the sheriff's office was apparently able to get airline tickets at a lower price.

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