Munday attorney requests jail move

June 03, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

David Eugene Munday, the Hedgesville, W.Va., man accused of shooting West Virginia State Police Trooper R.J. "Bobby" Elswick during a domestic call, claims he is being harassed in the Eastern Regional Jail and could be transferred to another jail this week, his attorney said in a hearing Monday.

Martinsburg attorney Robert Barrat requested the transfer Monday, telling Berkeley County Circuit Judge David Sanders that Munday is being "challenged in hallways" at the jail by correctional officers.

Barrat said Munday has complained about the situation for some time.

Barrat said he thought the problem would resolve itself but it has not.

"He doesn't feel comfortable at all," Barrat told Sanders.

Sanders agreed that Munday could be sent to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Romney, W.Va., or to another jail in the sytem, as long as Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely agreed to the arrangement.


Games-Neely said Munday can be put on the "first available bus."

Barrat declined to elaborate about Munday's complaints following Monday's hearing. Barrat said he hopes Munday can be transferred from the jail this week.

The administrator of the Eastern Regional Jail said he was not aware of problems between Munday and correctional officers.

Munday has been in a "protective custody" unit at the jail since he was threatened by other inmates, and it appeared he was doing well there, Ed Rudloff said.

Munday began receiving threats from other inmates shortly after he arrived at the jail along W.Va. 9 east of Martinsburg, Rudloff said.

Rudloff described the threats as "the normal, we'd like to get our hands on him" comments.

Because of the threats, Munday was placed in the protective custody unit with about seven other inmates, Rudloff said.

Inmates in protective custody are separated from the other prisoners and have basically the same privileges, such as access to television, outdoor time and gym activities, Rudloff said.

"We have a responsibility to make sure nothing happens to him," Rudloff said.

When Munday's hearing began Monday, Munday was brought from an area at the back of the courtroom. The rest of the inmates who were present for hearings were kept up front in a jury box.

Munday, 37, is charged with shooting Elswick on Oct. 10, 2002, after Elswick and Trooper John Droppleman responded to a call for a possible domestic situation on Harper Lane near Hedgesville, police said.

When police arrived, Munday left a nearby home carrying a .22 magnum bolt-action rifle, court records allege. He ignored orders to put down the gun and shot Elswick, police allege.

Elswick was shot in the head and spent months in medical care facilities recovering from his injury.

Munday was indicted in February on 28 felony and misdemeanor charges, including four counts of attempted murder, one count of malicious wounding and six counts of wanton endangerment. He is scheduled to stand trial Aug. 19.

The rest of Monday's hearing was spent dealing with psychiatric and psychological reports on Munday.

A psychological report has not been completed but the psychiatric report is done, Barrat said.

Sanders said he has received the psychiatric report and would forward it to attorneys in the case.

The report will remain sealed until the trial, Barrat said.

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