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W.Va. man charged in April 5 slaying appears in court

June 17, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Ranson, W.Va., man charged with second-degree murder in an April 5 shooting death at Noland Village appeared Thursday for his arraignment in Washington County Circuit Court without a lawyer, despite an attorney's appearance entered partially on his behalf.

Boni Facio Aramburo, 21, whose last known address was 209 E. 11th Ave. in Ranson, is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, handgun on person, handgun in the use of a felony/violent crime, possession of crack cocaine, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a habitual drug user.

Terrance "T.J." Johnson, 35, of 1037 Noland Drive, was shot once in the chest at close range on April 5 at 7:59 p.m. in Court 4 of Noland Village, police have said. He was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital, according to charging documents.

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Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said Thursday at Aramburo's Circuit Court arraignment that "we've gotten an unusual entry of appearance" from Baltimore-based lawyer Stephen Sacks, who indicated he would represent Aramburo on the homicide charges, but not on the drug charges.

Michael said that following the shooting at the housing complex, Aramburo, who "was in possession of the murder weapon," was charged with the homicide. He later was charged with the drug counts because crack cocaine allegedly was found on him at the time of his arrest, Michael said.

"It was all part of the same incident," Michael said.

He said Sacks told him, "We've only been paid for the homicide case."

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III told Aramburo "you can't have an attorney represent you on some counts and another attorney represent you on other counts."

He said that scenario would be allowed if the court ordered that the counts be severed from each other, meaning that they are ordered to be tried separately, which has not happened in this case.

Michael said he anticipates Sacks will make a motion to sever the counts.

Michael requested that a trial for Aramburo be scheduled in September. He said he anticipates a three-day trial.

According to charging documents, Aramburo was walking toward the entrance of Court 4 with his girlfriend when he was approached by Ernest Eugene Davis, aka "Poncho," and a fistfight ensued.

The documents state Johnson became involved in the fight and that witnesses heard a gunshot. Allegedly, those witnesses saw a muzzle flash coming from Aramburo, charging documents state.

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