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Two indicted in man's death apprehended

May 18, 2001

Two indicted in man's death apprehended



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


A Berkeley County, W.Va., man and woman who were indicted in connection with the death of a man who had been injected with heroin were apprehended early Thursday, police said.

Kyra L. Heleine, 19, of 311 Melrose Drive in Falling Waters, W.Va., and Roger L. Bowers Jr., 20, Route 4, Hegesville, W.Va., were located through family members, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.

Heleine and Bowers were charged in grand jury indictments in the January death of Jason Scott Gettel, 29.

Gettel was found dead in the back seat of a car parked along Vancleavesville Road in late January, Games-Neely said. He had been injected with heroin between six and seven times, West Virginia State Police allege.

West Virginia State Police Trooper Kevin Plumer took Heleine and Bowers to the Eastern Regional Jail along W.Va. 9, where they were arraigned via video from the jail Thursday morning, officials said. They were being held without bond Thursday night.

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The two were picked up on murder warrants issued by Magistrate Carlton DeHaven, Games-Neely said

The grand jury indicted Heleine on charges of felony murder and delivery of a controlled substance. Bowers was indicted on charges of aiding and abetting felony murder, delivery and aiding and abetting delivery.

When Heleine and Bowers are arraigned next week before a Circuit judge, it is expected the magistrate court charges will be dropped and they will be formally arraigned on the charges in the indictments, Games-Neely said.

She said an aiding and abetting charge is as severe as a first-degree murder charge. "In West Virginia if you participate in a crime it's the same as doing it," she said.

An investigation revealed that Gettel and other people had been at a house to buy drugs, Games-Neely said.

Other people at the house said in statements to police that Gettel purchased $20 worth of heroin at the house, according to a criminal complaint filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Two men at the house gave statements saying Heleine injected Gettel with heroin six or seven times, the criminal complaint alleges.

Gettel began "turning purple" and a man in the house said Gettel had to be removed from the house because he was dying, the criminal complaint says.

Games-Neely said it is believed Gettel died of "positional asphyxia," which occurs when a person's airway is obstructed because of the position of the body. It can result when someone is so intoxicated he or she cannot move, Games-Neely said.

Morphine and monoacetylmorphine, which is a metabolite product of heroin, were detected in Gettel's blood, the criminal complaint said.

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