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Man enters no contest plea in 2003 incident

October 30, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Kirk Grantham pleaded no contest Friday to battery after cutting the hand of another man in a June 2003 incident, but still faces a murder charge in the shooting death of Marvin Redman.

Grantham, 26, of 129 Boarman Place in Martinsburg, made the plea on the reduced battery charge before Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes. He was indicted in February on a charge of malicious wounding. The victim in the case was William R. Hanna Jr., according to court records.

Wilkes sentenced Grantham to one year in jail on the battery charge, but gave him credit for time already served.

The same grand jury that indicted Grantham on the malicious wounding charge also indicted him on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of Redman, 35, during a fight that occurred June 15 in the parking lot of the Capital Heights apartment complex, according to court records.

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Grantham allegedly beat Redman on the head with the gun before shooting him, court records said.

According to Redman's death certificate, the medical examiner listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

Two women - Rashawn Williams, the mother of Grantham's child, and Grantham's mother, Darise Cole, were shot accidentally as Grantham and Redman struggled over the gun, police said at the time.

Neither woman suffered life-threatening injuries. Both were in the courtroom Friday.

Kevin Mills, Grantham's attorney, said following the hearing that his client acted in self-defense "and in the defense of his family."

Wilkes set a Feb. 1 trial date for Grantham on the murder charge.

The judge, saying bail rarely is set in murder cases, agreed to a request from Mills, and against the protests of Assistant Prosecutor Chris Quasebarth, to set bail for Grantham at $100,000.

Wilkes said he agreed to the bail after reviewing Grantham's file.

According to court records, Redman had the gun, not Grantham. Redman and Grantham struggled and Grantham took the gun from Redman, court records said.

The murder indictment against Grantham does not list premeditation as a factor.

Mills asked Wilkes to reduce Grantham's bail to $75,000.

"I won't go below six figures," Wilkes said. "We need that security."

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