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Prosecution's theory changes

hearing in slaying delayed

July 08, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The discovery of new evidence on Thursday in the July 2005 shooting death of a Shepherdstown, W.Va., man prompted a delay in Berkeley County Circuit Court proceedings for Edward Charles Grimes, the accused killer.

A pretrial hearing for Grimes, 24, was rescheduled for July 19 at 9 a.m. An Aug. 1 trial remains unchanged.

Grimes is accused of shooting Ronald L. Kidrick at a Martinsburg motel.

After the hearing Friday, Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said interviews by investigators this week somewhat changes the state's "theory" in the case.

Assistant Prosecutor Gregory V. Smith told Circuit Judge David Sanders Friday that the evidence uncovered in the interviews benefited Grimes' defense.

"Things change the more you know, obviously," Smith said.

In May, Sanders declined to accept a guilty plea of second-degree murder submitted by attorneys for Grimes after the victim's family objected to the number of years the accused would have served in prison. Grimes would be eligible for parole after he would have served a fraction of a possible 12-year sentence under terms of the plea agreement.

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On Friday, Sanders instructed several subpoenaed witnesses who appeared for the hearing at the Berkeley County Courthouse that they still were obligated to return for the new hearing date.

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