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Man charged in rescue mission slashing

November 12, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man wanted in the stabbing of a Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission resident/employee was taken into custody and charged Thursday morning, the Martinsburg Police Department said.

Jeffrey A. Nelson, 38, whose last known address was 411 Miller Road in Winchester, Va., was charged with malicious wounding in the stabbing of Gregory Mathers at the West King Street facility, police said.

Police said Nelson and a vehicle police were searching for Wednesday, a yellow Jeep Cherokee, were spotted at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg at about 11:29 a.m. Nelson was detained by Veterans Affairs Police on an unrelated charge, according to police.

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Nelson was being held Thursday evening at the Eastern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond, a jail spokesman said.

Martinsburg Police Department Sgt. Glenn Macher said Thursday a second man for whom police were searching in connection with the incident was found Thursday but not charged.

Macher declined to release additional information on the case.

Macher said Wednesday that Mathers' injury was serious, but probably not life-threatening.

A Martinsburg City Hospital spokeswoman would not release Mathers' condition.

Mathers, who works and lives at the mission, sustained a 5- to 6-inch gash on the neck when he was attacked Wednesday in an alley near the Rescue Mission, Macher said Wednesday.

Macher has said the slashing occurred after Mathers approached the vehicle of two men who had checked in for the evening at the mission. He said Mathers was checking on whether the men were violating a Rescue Mission policy that prohibits the use of alcohol.

Macher said Mathers was stabbed with a razor knife with an extremely sharp blade.

A police news release stated that a razor utility knife was found by officers Thursday, and the Jeep was towed to an area garage where officers with a warrant searched it.

The Rev. William Crowe, the Rescue Mission's superintendent, said he was heart-broken about the attack on Mathers, 50, who has been working at the mission for a few years after coming there as a homeless man.

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