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Prosecutor says Munday should serve life sentence

December 02, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A Hedgesville, W.Va., man convicted of shooting a West Virginia State Police trooper once in the head was back in court Monday, with prosecutors hoping to have him sentenced to life in prison under the "three strikes" law.

In October, David Eugene Munday, 38, was found guilty by jurors of 21 charges, including five counts of wanton endangerment with a firearm, one count of unlawful assault of a police officer, four counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of brandishing a firearm and one count of fleeing from an officer on foot.

Munday shot Trooper R.J. "Bobby" Elswick on Oct. 10, 2002. Elswick, 32, continues to recover from the wound.

To try to obtain a life sentence against Munday, Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said she will need the officers who previously arrested Munday to testify during what is expected to be a one-day trial. Circuit Judge David Sanders scheduled that jury trial for Jan. 8.

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According to information compiled by Games-Neely and filed in the Circuit Clerk's Office, Munday previously was convicted of felony charges in Maryland.

On March 27, 2000, he was convicted of second-degree assault in Frederick County (Md.) Circuit Court. Although he was sentenced to serve eight years in prison, four years were suspended and two years were to be served as supervised probation.

On Aug. 21, 1989, Munday was convicted in Frederick County Circuit Court of wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery, Games-Neely said. A 10-year prison sentence was suspended and Munday was ordered to serve five years of probation for the assault and battery charge.

Games-Neely said Munday should serve a life sentence, specifically because of his conviction of unlawful wounding of a police officer.

Elswick was shot as he and three other troopers responded to a possible hostage situation on Harper Lane in Hedgesville. Rifle shell casings found at the scene matched a bolt-action rifle carried by Munday. Ballistics tests could not be done on the bullet that entered Elswick's head just above his left ear. The bullet fragmented on impact and pieces of it remain lodged in Elswick's brain, according to testimony during Munday's trial.

Munday, who had been scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 5, now is to be sentenced on Jan. 12.

Munday still faces two separate felony charges involving allegations that he tried to bribe two key witnesses into either leaving the state or changing their testimony. That case is scheduled to go to trial in February.

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