Man charged after Thursday standoff

December 13, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

A man allegedly involved in a standoff with police Thursday night was involved in a similar incident a year ago, when his home was surrounded by police officers after he walked outside with a loaded rifle, according to court records.

William Ralph Hanna Sr., 43, of 317 Hess Ave., Martinsburg, was charged with one felony count of wanton endangerment with a firearm after Thursday's incident.

On Thursday, Hanna threatened to shoot his wife in the head and then said he was going to kill himself, Cpl. John Sherman of the Martinsburg Police Department said. Hanna told Sherman that police were going to have to kill him because he was not going to go to jail, records state.


Several officers surrounded Hanna's home for more than an hour. After Sherman negotiated with Hanna, Hanna turned himself in peacefully, which was not the case a year ago.

On Dec. 19, 2002, a woman called 911 and said Hanna had a loaded rifle and had threatened to kill himself. Five officers with the Martinsburg Police Department and two officers with the Berkeley County's Sheriff's Department responded, court records state.

When police arrived, Hanna walked outside of his home twice with a loaded .308-caliber rifle, police said. When he walked out a third time unarmed, Cpl. Terry Stanley forced Hanna to the ground, according to court records.

Hanna was taken to City Hospital for psychiatric treatment, records state.

Hanna's son, Christopher Todd Hanna, 19, had gone to his father's home that night to try to talk to him, police said. When he went to the door, William Hanna stood with a gun and refused to let his son inside because he believed a police officer was behind him, police said.

Hanna told his son that he was going to shoot him if a police officer was behind him, records state.

Hanna was charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic assault in connection with the incident last year. The case was placed on a "stet docket," meaning the charge was to be dismissed April 9, 2004, provided Hanna did not abuse his son, continued his medical treatment and was not involved in any police complaints, according to court records.

Magistrate Harry Snow arraigned Hanna on the wanton endangerment charge Friday morning. Hanna is in Eastern Regional Jail on $15,000 bail.

Conviction of a charge of wanton endangerment carries a prison sentence of one to five years.

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