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Cops say W.Va. teen was shot over card game

December 14, 1998|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A dispute over a card game led to the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Martinsburg boy last Friday, police said Monday.

The Martinsburg Police Department on Monday charged Chad Joseph Cordell, 22, of Martinsburg, with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Jose "Joey" DeLoa.

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DeLoa was shot several times in the head and upper body at around 11 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of South Rosemont Avenue in Martinsburg, police said. He died at Martinsburg City Hospital at about 11:50 p.m.

Cordell was arraigned Monday evening in Berkeley County Magistrate Court and was being held without bond in the Eastern Regional Jail.

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Police said Cordell will have a bond review by a Circuit Court judge this week.

Martinsburg Police Chief Ted Anderson said Cordell and DeLoa had been playing cards earlier in the evening at a home on Porter Avenue, and they apparently had a disagreement over the game between 9 and 10 p.m.

Anderson said investigators obtained a warrant for Cordell's arrest on Monday and tried unsuccessfully to serve the warrant at several locations.

One of Cordell's family members took Cordell to the Martinsburg Police Department shortly after 5 p.m., where he surrendered to police, he said.

Police over the weekend had searched Cordell's home at 913 W. Martin St. and a 1990 Pontiac at his home, according to Anderson.

Police also obtained a search warrant to check Cordell for evidence of gunshot residue.

Police found a .22-caliber revolver in an alley behind 425 S. Kentucky Ave. that investigators believe was used in the shooting, said Anderson.

Police said they also have recovered other items, including ammunition, clothing and spent shell casings.

Anderson said investigators were in the process of tracing the revolver through the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Anderson would not comment on whether Cordell made any statements to police. He said there was no indication that the shooting was gang- or drug-related.

"There's absolutely no indication of either of those in this case," Anderson said.

Anderson praised what he called "an intense effort" in the investigation by Martinsburg police.

DeLoa, who lived with his mother in Omaha, Neb., had traveled to Martinsburg to spend Christmas with his father, family members said earlier. He had arrived in Martinsburg on Dec. 9, two days before the shooting.

Anderson said the maximum penalty for a first-degree murder conviction in West Virginia is life in prison.

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