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Hearing waived for man charged in bar shooting

January 09, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - An attorney representing a Harpers Ferry, W.Va., man charged in the Dec. 2 shooting death of a bartender at the Cliffside Bar and Grill said Monday the defense is examining James Robert Jones' state of mind at the time of the shooting.

Because such issues cannot be raised in preliminary hearings, Jones decided to waive his right to a preliminary hearing Monday in Jefferson County Magistrate Court, his attorney, Aaron Amore, said.

Amore predicted the next step in the case for the state will be a review by a Jefferson County grand jury.

Jones, 25, of 180 Campground Road, is charged with murder, three counts of wanton endangerment, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of malicious wounding in the shooting at the Cliffside Bar and Grill along U.S. 340 near Harpers Ferry, where three people were shot, according to police and court records.

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Michael Mihalik, 26, of Harpers Ferry, the bartender at the bar, died after being shot in the chest shortly before 10 p.m., police said.

Two other men in the bar were shot in the leg, police said.

The three men were shot after the assailant walked into the bar and opened fire with a 9 mm automatic handgun, police said. Six shots were fired.

State police have been unable to comment about a possible motive for the shootings. Jim Kent, another attorney who represented Jones, said previously that there were some "medical activities" in the case and Kent said he did not think Jones would be convicted on the charges.

Jones, who is being held on $100,000 bond at Eastern Regional Jail, made a brief appearance in magistrate court Monday while lawyers worked out details concerning the waiver of the preliminary hearing.

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