House shooting case sent to grand jury

November 19, 1997

House shooting case sent to grand jury


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Martinsburg, W.Va., man accused of riddling a Charles Town woman's home with gunfire was bound over Wednesday to a Jefferson County grand jury.

Julian Pace, 22, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, speeding, fleeing police, driving with no headlights on and reckless driving. He was being held without bond at the Eastern Regional Jail.

Corinne Curtis, 65, of Hessy Street, testified in Jefferson County Magistrate Court that a noise awoke her early on Nov. 4 and she heard the sound of breaking glass in her living room. She said she walked down the hall to the living room and did not realize her house had been shot at until she turned and saw a large hole in the kitchen wall above the light switch.


Curtis said she tried to call 911 but the phone was out, so she walked to a convenience store to use the phone.

Charles Town Cpl. Barry Shultz testified he was on patrol when he noticed a car passing him with no headlights on.

Shultz said he turned around and followed the car onto East Washington Street, using his emergency lights to signal the driver to stop. The car sped out of town onto U.S. 340 and the driver wrecked while attempting to turn onto Country Club Road at a high rate of speed, Shultz said.

As he walked up to the car, Pace told him that he was fleeing because a man had fired shots from his car, Shultz said.

Officer Mark Johnston said he wiped Pace's hands and face with special swabs used as part of an examination kit. The state crime lab tested the swabs and found gun powder residue, indicating that Pace had recently fired a weapon, Johnston said.

Johnston said 9mm and .45-caliber rounds were fired into the home. He counted between 12 and 14 bullet holes, he said.

The police officers testified that no weapons had been recovered.

Charles Town Police Sgt. Robert James said he searched with his police dog, but was unable to find the weapons.

James said he photographed tread marks found on the pavement outside Curtis' home and took pictures of the tires on the car Pace was driving.

Johnston said neighbors had seen a car parked outside Curtis' home and watched it drive off with the headlights off.

No defense witnesses were called at the hearing. Defense attorney Andy Arnold said during his closing arguments that there were no witnesses who saw Pace firing a weapon.

"No one has ever identified my client as being at the scene. The case is simply not yet developed against my client," Arnold said.

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Thompson countered that he believed the case was strong enough with the circumstantial evidence.

"She (Curtis) certainly could have been killed. It was pretty clear it was premeditated," Thompson said.

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