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Motive for shooting remains a mystery

June 28, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The condition of a Martinsburg man who was shot in the stomach Saturday night was upgraded to serious at a Virginia hospital on Monday.

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John Timmons Sr., 28, was flown in critical condition to Fairfax INOVA Hospital in Fairfax, Va. Saturday night. He was one of four people who were shot near a creek in Gerrardstown, W.Va., police said.

The other three victims, all Martinsburg women, were treated for gunshot wounds at Martinsburg City Hospital.

Timmons' wife, Tara R. Timmons, 21, and Lorrie Campbell, 32, were listed in satisfactory condition Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Lori Messick, 28, was released from the hospital Sunday after being treated for her injuries.

The victims received various gunshot wounds to the shoulder, back and leg, police said.

West Virginia State Police arrested Roger Orr, 41, of Martinsburg, after the shootings and charged him with four counts of felony malicious wounding.

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Orr was released Sunday night on $40,000 bond, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Police said the shootings followed an altercation between the three women around 10 p.m. Saturday at the end of East Ganoetown Road near W.Va. 45.

A man fired five shots from a small-caliber revolver into the group, hitting John Timmons point blank in the stomach and wounding the three women, police said.

It is still unknown what prompted the fight between the women or why the man fired a gun into the group, police said.

Drugs and alcohol were not factors in the shooting, police said.

Police have the gun they believe was used in the shooting and the case remains under investigation, police said.

Conviction on a felony charge of malicious wounding carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

One of the victims, John Timmons, was sent to prison six years ago after being charged with the attempted murder of a Martinsburg City Police officer, court records show.

Timmons entered an Alford plea in July 1993 to a charge he fired a 20-gauge shotgun into the crusier of Officer Daryl Ruppenthal on Jan. 12, 1993, according to Berkeley County Circuit Court records.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to get a conviction.

Timmons was sentenced to three to five years in prison as part of the plea agreement, according to court records.

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