Grand jury indicts W.Va. resident in death of Hagerstown man

May 21, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County, W.Va., grand jury Tuesday indicted a man charged with shooting a Hagerstown man once in the neck on New Years Day on four felony charges: Murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and felony murder.

Richard L. Pannell Jr., 25, of Martinsburg, could now face a trial in Circuit Court. Pannell is charged with shooting Charles Wingfield, 32, in the Capitol Heights apartment complex parking lot at around 4 a.m. on Jan. 1.

A charge of felony murder means a killing took place in connection with a felony, in this case, armed robbery. Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said a determination will be made later on whether to try Pannell on the murder or felony murder charge.


Investigators have said they believe Wingfield was shot during a robbery attempt. Wingfield's wallet was removed and his driver's license was found in a pair of Pannell's pants, police allege.

Wingfield had $320 in his sock, which was later found at the hospital, police said.

A week after the shooting, on Jan. 8, Pannell appeared in magistrate court for a preliminary hearing. During that hearing, a videotaped statement Pannell gave to police was played.

During the statement, Pannell said he was just "playing around" and that the shooting was an accident.

The kidnapping charge stems from allegations that, after the shooting, Pannell grabbed a young woman's arm and made her accompany him back to the crime scene.

At the shooting site, Pannell looked around and even spoke to a deputy, according to the woman. Pannell was taken into custody a few hours after that.

Others indicted Tuesday by the grand jury include:

  • Belcher Grady, 19, of Martinsburg, on charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery and breaking and entering. Grady is accused of kidnapping an 83-year-old woman, stealing $500 from her and then making her drive to a Martinsburg bank, according to police.

  • Daniel S. Pearrell, 27, of Berkeley Station Road in Martinsburg, on one count of DUI causing death, one count of DUI causing injury and two misdemeanor traffic offenses.

Police allege that Pearrell was drinking and driving when his Chevrolet Blazer crossed the center line on U.S. 11 north of Martinsburg and hit a Geo Storm. A passenger in the Geo, Juan Tejeda, 20, of Wheaton, Md., was killed and the driver was injured. The accident happened around 9:15 p.m. on March 30, 2002.

The Herald-Mail Articles