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W.Va. man indicted on murder charge

February 19, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man charged last year with beating a man with a gun and then standing over him and shooting him was indicted Wednesday on two charges.

Grand jurors indicted Kirk Grantham, 26, of 129 Boarman Place on one count of murder and an unrelated count of malicious wounding. He could now stand trial.

Grantham is charged with shooting Marvin Redman, 35, once in the stomach around 4:30 a.m. June 15 in a parking lot of the Capital Heights apartment complex.

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Before shooting Redman, Grantham 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.

Two women - Rashawn Williams, then 22, and Grantham's mother, Darise Cole, then 42 - were shot accidentally as Grantham and Redman struggled to gain control of the gun, police said. Neither woman received life-threatening injuries.

Although the indictment is for a general charge of murder, it did not list premeditation as a factor in the case. Premeditation is usually a factor in first-degree murder cases.

At a preliminary hearing held last summer, a week after Grantham was taken into custody, Grantham's attorney said the case clearly is one of self-defense.

At that time, defense attorney Kevin Mills argued that Grantham was protecting his life, his mother's life and Williams' life.

The malicious wounding charge stemmed from allegations that on June 8, 2003, Grantham cut William R. Hanna Jr.'s hand with a knife. Grantham reportedly pulled the knife from behind his back and severed the tendon that connects Hanna's middle finger to his hand, according to court records.

Other indictments returned Wednesday included charges against William K. Winfield, 23, and David Jonathan Smeltzer, 22, both of 218 E. King St., Martinsburg.

Both men were indicted on one count of grand larceny, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, destruction of property and conspiracy to commit destruction of property.

Police allege Winfield and Smeltzer stole 53 parking meters and change from the Martinsburg meters last summer.

The meters were later found dumped in the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

The thefts began June 17 and ended around 6:15 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2003, when a witness spotted a man breaking into meters on John Street, records state. She described him to police and said he was on a bicycle.

When police went to the area, they said they found Winfield riding a bicycle. He had a metal pick with him, police said.

After Winfield's girlfriend gave police consent to search their apartment, officers found 16 parking meter coin containers, eight metal clips for the containers, three small bags of coins that had $24.20 inside, a cordless drill and a steel punch, records state.

Winfield said he had been keeping the meter heads underneath a tarp in his back yard, but dumped them in the river because he was worried his landlord was going to find them, police said. Winfield also told police he used change from the meters to buy "drugs and food and stuff," court records allege.

Grand jury proceedings are conducted behind closed doors. Sixteen jurors listen to a prosecutor and police officers before deciding whether to indict a suspect. Neither the defendant nor his attorney is present, and an indictment is not considered a sign of guilt.

Wednesday was the last day of a two-day grand jury session. Another is scheduled for May.

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