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Witness testifies to deadly lullaby

December 05, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The family of Jennifer Folmar wept and their shoulders rocked with sobs as a prosecution witness testified Friday about hearing the two suspects talk about finishing her off.

Witnesses and prosecutors have said that Folmar, 23, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., was shot once in the left jaw. Her killers then returned, stabbed her 11 times, and returned again and shot her twice more on the night of Oct. 24, 1996. She died on Oct. 25, 1996, at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson.

The prosecution rested its case Friday in the murder trial of Purnell J. "P.J." Sellers, 20, and Eric M. "Boo" Turner, 22.


Sellers "told Boo something to the effect, 'When you sing somebody a lullaby you're supposed to put them to sleep,'" said Denise Grantham, 23, of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Moments before she had heard two bangs. "It didn't sound like gunshots. It sounded more like a cap gun," Grantham said.

Grantham said she was with Turner, her former boyfriend, and another man when Sellers walked up the hill and spoke to Turner.

Grantham said after Folmar was found in her car, the police questioned them a short time later and asked for their names. Grantham said she gave the police another name and so did Turner.

Earlier in the night, Folmar had gone into a Ray Street house of her former boyfriend, Henry Grantham, to smoke crack cocaine and hang out with him, Henry Grantham said.

She went into a bathroom while Henry Grantham bought crack cocaine from Turner, Henry Grantham said.

They did the drug transaction when Folmar could not see them because Turner did not trust her, Henry Grantham said.

After Turner left, they smoked the crack cocaine together. When other men showed up at the house, Henry Grantham told her to leave because the men were starting to bother her, offering her drugs in exchange for sexual favors, Henry Grantham said.

On cross examination, Henry Grantham said he had prior incidents with the law, one for killing his brother in 1989 and another for using a knife to wound a man.

But Henry Grantham said he did not hurt Folmar and wanted to cooperate with the police to catch her killers even after one police officer told him that he was a suspect.

However, he had not mentioned to investigators until April 1997 that he had sold a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun to Turner.

Denise Grantham, who is related to Henry Grantham and "just about everybody on Ray Street," said Turner and other people did not trust Folmar because they believed she worked as an informant for the police.

Denise Grantham said that shortly before Folmar was murdered, Folmar sat in her car parked on top of the neighborhood's hill smoking what Grantham believed was crack cocaine.

Denise Grantham said several people were outside nearby, yelling "snitch" and "police" and directing the comments to Folmar.

Denise Grantham said she walked up to Folmar's car and told Folmar to leave.

Folmar was "high out of her mind" and said she would leave as soon as she found her keys.

The trial will resume Monday morning with a telephone conference on motions. Defense witnesses are expected to be called on Tuesday.

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