Testimony continues in federal trial

January 17, 2002

Testimony continues in federal trial

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A federal jury Wednesday heard testimony from a Kearneysville, W.Va., woman who said she regularly purchased crack cocaine from a man charged in the death of a Hedgesville, W.Va., woman in 1999.

Raymonda Winston testified she used crack up to four times a week and at one time bought up to $300 worth of the drug from Andrew Charles Jackson, also known as "Sway."

Jackson, of 728 Winchester Ave. in Martinsburg, is one of two men standing trial this week in the 1999 beating death of Vatressa Miller. The 20-year-old woman's body was found Aug. 10, 1999, in a wooded area in the Greystone on the Opequon subdivision off W.Va. 45 east of Martinsburg.

Jackson and Keyston J. West, of 908 Wendover Road, Apt. D, Charlotte, N.C., were indicted in January 2000 on charges of attempting to further a criminal enterprise by killing Miller. U.S. Attorney Tom Mucklow said the men took Miller to the wooded area and beat her to death with an ax handle.


During Wednesday's testimony, Winston said she usually would call Jackson on the telephone to arrange a crack purchase.

Winston said she later cooperated with police and agreed to let them record a phone conversation between her and Jackson.

A tape recording of the phone call was played for jurors in U.S. District Court Wednesday, although the voices on it were hard to hear.

Winston asked that the tape be repeated because she could hardly hear her own voice.

Jackson, who also called himself "The President," came to Martinsburg in about 1995 and began setting up a crack cocaine operation, Mucklow said in his opening statement Tuesday.

A federal indictment returned against Jackson alleges he used threats, physical violence and intimidation to coerce people to distribute his crack cocaine.

Mucklow said Jackson knew Miller, and Jackson became suspicious that Miller, who was also a cocaine user, was working with the police.

Mucklow alleged that Jackson and West were part of a group of people who rode in a car with Miller to the Greystone on the Opequon subidivision in July 1999.

Miller was "savagely" beaten and later found in a secluded part of the subdivision, Mucklow said.

West and Jackson could face the death penalty if they are found guilty of the criminal count that charges them with the death of Miller, prosecutors said.

Two other defendants have already entered pleas in the case.

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