Autopsy: woman was beaten

July 16, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted on a 79-year-old woman who was found dead inside her house on Cannon Hill Road near Hedgesville, W.Va., early Sunday show she died of blunt force trauma to the head, Berkeley County's prosecuting attorney said.

Geneva M. Wood suffered "multiple blows" to the head from a cast-iron skillet, Pamela Games-Neely said Monday.

The results were determined Monday after Wood was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Morgantown, W.Va., for an autopsy, Games-Neely said.

Wood's grandson, Timothy Dale Wood, 37, of Hedgesville, has been charged with murder in the slaying. He was being held without bail Monday at Eastern Regional Jail.


Timothy Wood was charged with murder after West Virginia State Police Trooper Nathan Harmon noticed him walking in the rain along W.Va. 9 between Welltown Road and Harlan Springs Road about 2:35 a.m. Sunday, police said.

After having a conversation with Timothy Wood, Harmon noticed what appeared to be blood between Wood's fingers on his right hand, said police.

When Harmon questioned him about the blood, Timothy Wood said that he had an argument with his grandmother. While Harmon was checking on Geneva M. Wood by telephone, Timothy Wood admitted to killing her, state police said.

A motive for the slaying is not clear, Games-Neely said.

"But the information we have so far is this is premeditated," Games-Neely said.

Games-Neely alleges that Wood waited in his grandmother's house to kill her.

The prosecuting attorney's office will review the case and decide what degree murder charge will be pursued, said state police Sgt. M.A. Carte.

Wood is a schizophrenic, but there is nothing to indicate that he suffered from any complication related to the disorder when the slaying occurred, Games-Neely said.

Wood took medication for the disorder, Games-Neely said.

Wood said he lived with his grandmother, who stayed in a small house a short distance from where Mary Street in Hedgesville turns into Cannon Hill Road, police said.

After Timothy Wood admitted to killing his grandmother, Harmon went to the house to check on the woman, police said.

Harmon announced "State Police" at the house and asked if everything was OK, according to a criminal complaint filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

After getting no response, Harmon retrieved some keys from Timothy Wood's pocket and entered the front door, the criminal complaint said.

Harmon found Geneva M. Wood lying on her back with a pillow partially covering her face, Games-Neely said. There was a large amount of blood on a couch and the pillow, Games-Neely said.

There was nothing to indicate that Geneva Wood was suffocated, Games-Neely said.

A preliminary hearing for Timothy Wood will be held in magistrate court within 10 days, Games-Neely said.

When contacted Monday, family members declined to comment on the incident.

Geneva Wood's death was the second homicide in a little more than a month in Hedgesville, a community west of Martinsburg. Cathy Crissy, 43, of Hedgesville, was stabbed to death inside the Hedgesville Post Office on June 4.

No arrests have been made in Crissy's death.

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