"I don't want mercy shown to him," said Linda Smith who identified herself as Wingfield's mother. "He didn't give any mercy to my son."
Tracy Wingfield, 28, the victim's widow, said after the hearing, which lasted less than a half-hour, that some traffic cases take longer than that.
"I just don't understand, but there's nothing I can do. I'm just stuck," she said.
She was three months pregnant when her husband was killed, she said. The baby, a girl named Charli Lynn after her husband, is 3 months old. She has two sons, ages 4 and 9.
Games-Neely said Tracy Wingfield will testify at the sentencing hearing but asked if testimony from her children could be videotaped because an ordeal in open court would be too much for them. The judge and Lawson agreed to the request.
According to court records, Wingfield was shot once in the neck with a .38 caliber handgun around 4 a.m. on Jan. 1 in the parking lot of the Capital Heights apartment complex. Police found the gun near the site of the shooting, but neither the bullet that killed Wingfield nor its shell casing was found.
Police believe robbery was the motive for the killing. Wingfield's wallet had been rifled through and his driver's license was found in Pannell's pants, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.
Testimony at the hearing indicated Wingfield had gone to the apartment complex with intentions of buying drugs. Investigators found $320 in cash in one of Wingfield's socks, according testimony at the hearing.
A sheriff's deputy testified that members of Wingfield's family told him Wingfield had a drug problem.
Pannell claimed the shooting was an accident, the result of a practical joke gone bad, and that he found the gun in nearby woods.
Pannell is being held in Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg.