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Final suspect in Miller slaying found in La.

February 01, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Charlotte, N.C., man wanted in connection with last summer's slaying of a Berkeley County woman was arrested by local police in West Monroe, La., Monday, authorities said Tuesday.

Keyston J. "D-Man" West, 22, was indicted by a federal grand jury two weeks ago on charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and killing Vatressa Maria Miller in furtherance of that conspiracy.

Three other people were taken into custody last week.

West remained at large until Monday, when a Monroe-area resident called a crime hotline.

Monroe Police Department Detective Albert Edmiston, who runs Crime Stoppers of Ouachita, said West has family in the area and has visited frequently since 1996.

Edmiston said a television station there broadcast an item about West and authorities received an anonymous call.

"We acted on the tip," he said.

Officers apprehended West in an apartment in West Monroe Monday morning, he said.

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West will be arraigned Feb. 14 along with co-defendants Casey Michelle Holt and Kirk Leon Grantham, said Fawn Thomas, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Melvin W. Kahle Jr.

Holt and Grantham were charged with participating in the drug conspiracy. Holt, 25, of Inwood, W.Va., was also charged with participating in the slaying.

Grantham, 22, of Martinsburg, who was not charged in the slaying, was charged with four counts of distributing cocaine.

Andrew Charles "Sway" Jackson, 21, of Martinsburg, who was charged with running the crack ring and was also charged in Miller's slaying, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg Tuesday. He waived his detention hearing and will be held until the trial.

Prosecutors allege that Jackson, West, Holt and an unnamed person took Miller from Holt's home to a secluded area of Berkeley County and beat her to death with an ax handle. They allege that the 20-year-old woman was killed because the defendants believed she was a police informant.

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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