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W.Va. man indicted on murder charge

May 20, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man was indicted on a murder charge Thursday in a December slaying on Rosemont Avenue in which a 16-year-old boy was shot five times in the head and upper body, according to court records.

A Berkeley County grand jury returned the indictment against Chad Joseph Cordell, 22.

Conviction on a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Cordell, who was being held without bond at the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg, was to be arraigned on the murder charge this morning in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Cordell and the victim, Joey DeLoa, were part of a group playing cards and video games at a home on Porter Avenue on Dec. 11, 1998, according to Martinsburg Police Detective George Swartwood.

Swartwood said witnesses told police that Cordell became upset with DeLoa after he began "flossing" him. Flossing is a street term for showing someone disrespect, police said.

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Cordell allegedly challenged DeLoa to a fight, but DeLoa declined, Swartwood said. Witnesses thought the pair had settled their differences, and they told police that the two left the house together, according to Swartwood.

Cordell told police he left the house by himself, but a videotaped statement by the mother of one of Cordell's friends was contradictory.

Kym Hall told police Cordell came by her home at 425 S. Kentucky Ave. around 11 p.m. on the night of the shooting and asked for a ride home, according to testimony at Cordell's preliminary hearing.

Hall testified that Cordell told her he had shot a boy who pulled a knife on him and said he didn't know if the boy was dead or not.

Police later found a nine-shot .22-caliber revolver in an alley near Hall's home. The gun had five spent rounds and four live bullets in its chambers when it was found, police said.

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