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W.Va. man faces new charge in trooper's shooting

February 22, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - David Ellis Ferrebee of Charles Town has been charged with grand larceny in connection with a stolen 30.06 caliber rifle that was found in a truck he was driving following a wreck Saturday afternoon in Clarke County, Va., police said Tuesday.

But police said it is too early to say whether it was the gun that discharged at the scene, killing Virginia State Police Trooper Kevin C. Manion.

"We're not ready to make that leap," said Clarke County Sheriff Tony Roper.

The gun will be turned over to state police for further analysis, Roper said.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said there is "reasonable suspicion" to believe the gun found in the truck was the one that discharged.

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Geller, however, said ballistic tests will have to be conducted on the rifle to determine if it is the gun that discharged. If it is the weapon, hopefully the tests will show why the rifle discharged, Geller said.

Ferrebee was driving a Ford Ranger pickup truck that went off Va. 649 at 12:06 p.m. and rolled on its side, police said.

The accident occurred about four miles north of Va. 17/50, police said. The site is about 20 miles south of Charles Town.

Ferrebee, 58, initially was charged with driving under the influence and Melinda K. Brown, 38, of Summit Point, a passenger in the truck, was charged with being drunk in public, police said.

Ferrebee also faces a charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, police said.

As the damaged truck was being moved, a firearm inside it went off and Manion was shot in the chest, police said.

The bullet entered Manion's side near one of his arms in an area not covered by the bulletproof vest he was wearing, said Geller. The bullet traveled to his chest, Geller said.

Manion died later Saturday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the Clarke County Sheriff's Department issued a press release about how they connected Ferrebee to the stolen rifle.

Early Saturday, Clarke County Sheriff's deputies started an investigation of a burglary at a home in a rural part of the county, northwest of Boyce, Va., according to Roper and the release.

Boyce is south of Berryville, Va.

One of the items taken from the house was a 30.06 caliber rifle, the release said.

The deputy who investigated the burglary, Travis Sumption, was one of the first deputies to arrive at the scene where Manion was shot, the release said.

Sumption was present when Ferrebee was interviewed, and as a result, Ferrebee became a suspect in the burglary, the release said.

On Monday, Sumption obtained warrants for Ferrebee, charging him with grand larceny and burglary, the release said.

Although police said the rifle was found in the cab of the truck, Roper declined to say exactly how it was positioned.

Roper said he thinks the rifle was in different locations in the truck at different times of the day on Saturday.

Ferrebee was still being held in the Clarke-Fauquier-Frederick-Winchester Regional Adult Detention Center Tuesday afternoon without bond, a jail spokesman said.

Brown is free on a personal recognizance bond.

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