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Man dies after stabbing

April 23, 2004|By DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

BAKERTON, W.VA. - A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man died Thursday after being stabbed in the home of his estranged wife near Bakerton, West Virginia State Police said.

Robert Scott Derr, 44, died in an ambulance outside the house, Trooper 1st Class Richard Shockey said.

At 2:38 p.m., state troopers and Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to a 911 call placed by Derr's stepson, Nathan McDowell, who said someone was breaking in, Shockey said. He said McDowell, 18, lived in the house with his mother, Florence Derr, who was Robert Derr's estranged wife, and her younger son.

McDowell was the only person home at the time, Shockey said.

A family protective order prohibited Derr from having contact with his wife or his stepson, Shockey said.

Troopers believe Robert Derr broke into the house through a first-floor window, went upstairs and confronted McDowell, Shockey said.

Shockey would not say how many times Derr was stabbed, but he said it was more than once. He was found lying on an upstairs floor.

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Derr was moved to a waiting ambulance, where he died before he could be taken to a hospital, Shockey said.

Shockey said he did not know McDowell's whereabouts when police arrived.

No charges had been filed as of Thursday night, Shockey said.

Shockey would not say if the stabbing was self-defense. He said he and Trooper B.A. Chandler were continuing an investigation into the death.

Shockey could not say why the family protection order had been filed against Derr.

Derr's body is expected to be sent to a state medical examiner's office in South Charleston, W.Va., for an autopsy, Shockey said.

Two state police sergeants walked around the front of the yellow two-story frame home Thursday afternoon talking and taking pictures.

A downstairs window was open, and part of a curtain was hanging out of it. A screen was on the ground under the window.

A woman who lives across the street said Florence Derr has rented the house from her husband for several years.

The woman said a man she believed was one of Florence Derr's sons was outside yelling for help at about the time the stabbing occurred. The man went to a neighbor's house, where people called for help, said the woman, who declined to give her name.

A man working at a nearby convenience store said he has known Florence Derr for about 10 years and she has always lived in the Bakerton area. Robert Derr used to come in the store, but he had not been there recently, said the man, who declined to give his name.

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