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Pendleton to deny role in beating

July 22, 1998|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Charles Town, W.Va., man says he was only along for the ride and had no part in the beating and robbery of an Inwood, W.Va., teen in 1995, his attorney said Tuesday in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Ricky V. Pendleton, 22, went on trial Tuesday for his alleged participation in the brutal attack on Ryan B. Frankenberry, then 17, on Nov. 28, 1995.

A motion to move the trial to another county because of media attention in the case was denied.

Pendleton is charged with kidnapping, malicious wounding, aggravated robbery and grand larceny.

The state alleges Frankenberry was attacked by Pendleton and David Wayne Gibson after he offered to give Gibson a ride at the Inwood McDonald's, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said during opening arguments.

Games-Neely claimed evidence presented in the trial would show the following:

Frankenberry, at the time a senior at Musselman High School, knew Gibson from playing football with him the previous year.

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He offered Gibson a ride to his car after he told him his car was broken down on Flowing Springs Road.

Gibson didn't tell him Pendleton was with him at first.

Both ended up riding in the passenger seat of Frankenberry's 1987 Porsche.

When Frankenberry pulled over to let them out, Gibson put Frankenberry in a headlock and told Pendleton to look out on the road for passers-by.

Frankenberry was dragged out of the car, beaten by both men and then sat on by Pendleton.

They then brought him to an abandoned house near Bakerton Road in Jefferson County, where they beat him again and left him for dead.

Later Frankenberry was wandering on a rural road when a motorist spotted him and drove him to Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

The two took Frankenberry's Porsche, money and credit cards and drove to New York, where they spent roughly a week.

They were heading back when the car, driven by Gibson, was spotted by New Jersey state troopers. A chase ensued, ending in a crash.

Gibson and Pendleton ran into a swamp, where both were shot by New Jersey troopers. Gibson died and Pendleton was wounded in the arm and wrist.

In opening arguments, Pendleton's attorney, Keith Wheaton, said his client is being accused of a crime he didn't know was going to happen and in which he had no involvement.

Wheaton said Pendleton was with Gibson, a childhood friend, at McDonald's when Gibson asked Frankenberry to give them a ride to the Martinsburg Mall.

He didn't know Gibson suffered mental problems and was supposed to be taking medication, Wheaton said.

He said Pendleton didn't participate in the beating, and both physical evidence and statements taken from Frankenberry after the beating will show that.

With Gibson dead, an "overzealous prosecution" is going after Pendleton even though he isn't responsible, Wheaton said.

"What we have here is a young man who has basically taken the place of a friend who was killed in New Jersey," he said.

Pendleton was indicted by a Berkeley County grand jury in May 1996.

He was convicted of carjacking in federal court in 1996.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.

Games-Neely said she planned to call Frankenberry as her first witness.

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