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Warrants issued for two W.Va. men

December 20, 2000

Warrants issued for two W.Va. men



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


Two West Virginia men are sought by Maryland State Police in connection with the murder of a Clear Spring man during a robbery Dec. 5, police said.

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A warrant was issued Dec. 14 for Liger Albert Grady, 18, and Jeff Stanley, also known as Saul Joseph Stanley, 22, said Detective Sgt. Douglas Wehland, who is a member of the Special Investigation Support Unit of Maryland State Police.

The men are charged with first and second degree murder, robbery, false imprisonment, felony theft and assault, he said.

Grady and Stanley both live in the 100 block of Fairfax Street in Martinsburg, W.Va., but at different residences, Wehland said.

Police said Grady and Stanley are accused of entering the 12019 National Pike home of William Leonard Messersmith Dec. 5, robbing and killing him.

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"They are considered to have equal involvement in the crime. There's no indication that one was a casual observer," he said.

A female acquaintance found Messersmith, 76, lying in a pool of blood inside his small green mobile home about two miles west of Clear Spring on Dec. 7.

An autopsy showed he died of severe trauma; the exact cause of death is still unknown, police said.

Evidence at the crime scene pointed to Grady and Stanley, he said. He refused to discuss details of the crime.

Police said previously that Messersmith may have let his killer inside and that it was hard to tell if anything was taken from the home because it was messy.

Wehland said the robbery was planned but wouldn't say why Messersmith was targeted.

"They weren't truly close associates of the victim," he said.

Wehland went to West Virginia Tuesday to talk to family, friends and associates of the men, he said. Grady and Stanley are distantly related, he said.

Both are white males. Grady is 5 feet, 10 inches and 130 pounds. Stanley is 5 feet, 11 inches and 175 pounds.

No further description was available. Police did not release photos.

Wehland said Grady and Stanley are fugitives and they are aware police are after them.

Stanley is also wanted on warrants from Montgomery and Frederick counties charging him with fraud and failure to return rented property, he said.

The men are believed to have a handgun in their possession and are hiding out in West Virginia, he said. He warned that anyone who has knowledge of or has helped the fugitives will be prosecuted.

State Police enlisted the help of the FBI, U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Marshals in searching for the men in case they try to leave the state or country, he said.

"They can run but they can't hide," said Wehland.

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