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W.Va. man held on assault, kidnapping charges

February 18, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An Inwood, W.Va., man was being held without bail in Eastern Regional Jail on Tuesday after he was charged with holding a knife to a woman's throat, beating her and refusing to let her leave his home, court records said.

Jack Allen Lawrence, 26, of 58 Annex Drive, was charged Monday with a felony count of kidnapping, a felony count of unlawful wounding and two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault.

Deputy B.J. Wright, with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, investigated the case.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, the alleged assault happened on Feb. 15. Wright identified the victims as Andrea Legge and her 21/2-month-old baby, whose name was not provided in court paperwork.

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Legge told police that Lawrence, the father of her baby, beat her several times and held a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her if she tried to leave, records allege.

She alleged that Lawrence threw dishes around his home's kitchen and covered Legge's mouth in an attempt to prevent her from breathing, police said. When he beat her she said nothing because she was afraid he would kill her if she spoke, records state.

Police allege that during the assault, Lawrence sat on a couch with the baby and started to cut his arms with a large kitchen knife, causing wounds that later required treatment at a hospital. When Lawrence swung his arms around, blood splattered on the baby and walls in the home, police said.

Lawrence allegedly barricaded the home's front door with a chair before passing out on a couch, police said. At that time Legge took the baby and crawled outside through a bedroom window, records state. She then called 911.

Legge's head was severely swollen, Wright said.

Lawrence was being held without bail because kidnapping is a capital offense. Conviction on a kidnapping charge is punishable by up to life in prison.

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