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Hearings begin in case of alleged drug ring, slaying

January 25, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An Inwood, W.Va., woman charged in last summer's slaying of a 20-year-old Hedgesville, W.Va., woman and her alleged accomplice in an Eastern Panhandle drug ring appeared in federal court Tuesday.

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Casey Michelle Holt, 25, of 94-T Apple Way, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of killing Vatressa Maria Miller in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise.

She was also charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Holt appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert with Martinsburg attorney Barry Beck.

He declined to comment on the charges.

Kirk Leon Grantham, 22, of Avery Street in Martinsburg, was charged with three counts of distribution of crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was not charged in the slaying.

Grantham appeared in court Tuesday without an attorney, according to Fawn Thomas, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Melvin W. Kahle Jr. A lawyer will be appointed for Grantham, Thomas said.

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A detention hearing has been scheduled for Thursday morning in U.S. District Court for Holt, Grantham, and a third man, Andrew Charles "Sway" Jackson, 21, of 728 Winchester Ave. Jackson will make his initial appearance on Thursday, Thomas said.

Jackson was charged with participating in Miller's slaying and with running the crack cocaine ring from late 1995 to this January.

He also was indicted on firearms charges and distribution of crack cocaine.

At the detention hearing, prosecutors will attempt to show why Holt, Grantham and Jackson should be jailed until their trial.

Beck said he would seek to have Holt released on bond.

Kahle has alleged that Jackson, Holt and two other people killed Miller because they thought she was a confidential informant.

One of the suspects, Keyston J. "D-Man" West, 22, of Charlotte, N.C., was at large Tuesday.

The fourth was unnamed, known only to the grand jury.

Miller's body was discovered Aug. 10 in a wooded area in the Greystone on the Opequon subdivision after a man walking through the area saw a pair of shoes.

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