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Grantham's preliminary hearing is held

August 08, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Three people testified Thursday afternoon during a two-hour preliminary hearing for Kirk Grantham, who is charged with murder in the June 15 death of Marvin Redman.

Along with the testimony, statements from four other people were read aloud in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. Questions raised during the hearing include where the gun used in the shooting came from, whether the victim wielded a knife and where the gun is now.

Grantham, 25, is charged with shooting Redman, 35, once in the stomach. Grantham also allegedly beat Redman's head with the gun. A medical examiner listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head, according to Redman's death certificate.

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The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. June 15 in the parking lot of Capital Heights, an apartment complex outside of Martinsburg.

Both sides in the case agree that two others were shot accidentally during the altercation. Grantham's girlfriend, Rashawn Williams, 22, was shot in the leg and Grantham's mother, Darise Cole, 42, was shot in the arm.

Redman's girlfriend of seven months, Stephanie Shanholtz, testified that words were exchanged between Redman and Grantham on the night of the shooting.

"I seen a gun behind Kirk's back," Shanholtz said, adding later that the gun was in a holster.

After the argument turned physical, the gun slid on the pavement in her direction, Shanholtz testified. She said she ran over to it and slid it back toward Redman.

Shots were fired as the men struggled over the weapon and Williams and Cole were wounded, Shanholtz said. Eventually Grantham obtained control of the gun, stood over Redman and shot him once in the stomach, she testified.

Grantham's attorney, Kevin Mills, asked Shanholtz why she slid the gun over to Redman.

"I don't know. It's just ... I don't know," she said. "That was just my first instinct. To give it to him."

If Redman wanted to "shoot straight," he's shot "enough people or things" that he would have done so, Shanholtz testified, prompting a chorus of murmurs from the courtroom audience.

Shanholtz said neither she nor Redman owned a gun. Although Redman carried a knife in his back pocket - and earlier that night used it to slash a tire - Shanholtz testified that he never used it during the struggle.

Statements from two other witnesses, neither of whom appeared in court despite being subpoenaed, were read aloud by West Virginia State Police Trooper T.L. Lind.

Both witnesses said Grantham stood over Redman and shot him. Although Redman suffered only one bullet wound, one of the witnesses said Grantham shot Redman twice.

As the statements were read, Grantham leaned forward in his chair, a look of disbelief on his face. He occasionally shook his head.

Statements given by other witnesses differ.

Belinda Johnson, a cousin of both Redman and Grantham, testified that Redman had a knife in one hand and a screwdriver in the other. It was Shanholtz who first had the gun, wrapped in a newspaper under her arm, Johnson testified. As Redman and Grantham struggled, Shanholtz pitched the gun to Redman, Johnson said.

Redman fired the gun several times and, at one point, held it under Grantham's chin, Johnson testified.

"Kirk is not a violent person. He's not a fighter," Johnson testified. "Kirk shouldn't be charged with murder."

Mills read aloud a portion of a statement given by yet another witness, who also said Shanholtz initially had the gun and threw it to Redman. Both that witness and Johnson said they did not see Redman get shot.

After listening to the testimony, Magistrate Kristy Greer found enough probable cause to forward the case to Circuit Court, where a grand jury could decide whether to indict Grantham and, if so, he could stand trial.

Mills did not argue that the charge against his client should be dismissed.

"Self-defense is an affirmative defense which needs to be placed before a trial court," he said, maintaining that Grantham was protecting his own life, his mother's life and his girlfriend's life.

"It was a defensive struggle where the gun discharged," Mills said.

Lind testified that the gun used in the shooting has not been found. A holster was found at the scene, he said.

Grantham is being held without bail in Eastern Regional Jail.

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