Man indicted in shooting of his cousin

February 21, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man accused of fatally shooting his cousin after an argument last spring was indicted Thursday on one count of murder, and now could face a jury trial.

John W. Jenkins, 35, of Specks Run Road in Bunker Hill, W.Va., was charged with shooting 37-year-old Steven Cole on April 12, 2002. The shooting happened in or near Jenkins' pickup truck, which was parked along Gold Miller Road about two-tenths of a mile north of the Virginia line, police said.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely declined to speculate on a possible motive for the shooting.

Cole was shot four times, with wounds in several spots of his body, Games-Neely said. A .22-caliber revolver that still had bullets in it was recovered at the shooting scene, police said.


After the shooting, Cole was placed in the pickup truck's cab and driven to Virginia, police said. At a Virginia intersection, Cole jumped out of the truck. Employees at a nearby store called 911, according to reports.

Jenkins admitted to the shooting hours after it happened, and told police his version of what happened, Games-Neely said.

Jenkins was one of several people indicted by a grand jury panel Thursday.

Others indicted include:

  • Antoine D. Smith, 39, of Charles Town, W.Va., on two counts of attempted murder. Smith faces charges from an October 2001, incident in which he allegedly tried to run down Sgt. Russell Shackelford and Lt. K.C. Bohrer of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department after the officers tried to pull over Smith's car.

  • Derek M. O'Donnell, 21, of Route 1 in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., on one count of DUI causing death. O'Donnell was charged after allegedly crashing a gold Nissan sedan in November 2001. The car crossed the center line of W.Va. 9 west, and hit a fence and tree, police said. A passenger in the car, 24-year-old Mitchell Beddow, died after he was airlifted to a Virginia hospital.

  • Jeremy D. Smith, 21, of Aldrin Lane in Martinsburg, on the following charges: kidnapping, malicious wounding, robbery, larceny, two counts of DUI, fleeing while DUI and speeding.

    In September 2002, Smith allegedly hit an 18-year-old woman on the head with a glass bottle and tried to force her into his car, according to police.

    The DUI charges stem from separate incidents.

Grand jury proceedings are conducted behind closed doors, and neither a suspect nor his defense attorney are present. Indictments are not considered an indication of guilt.

Grand jury proceedings are expected to continue today.

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