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Trial date rescheduled for man accused of killing W.Va. bartender

August 18, 2007

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The trial for a Jefferson County, W.Va., man charged with first-degree murder in the December 2006 shooting death of a bartender at a Harpers Ferry, W.Va., area establishment was rescheduled Friday.

The trial for James Robert Jones, 26, of 180 Campground Road, was rescheduled for Oct. 2 to allow for reports concerning the man's competency to be reviewed by attorneys handling the case, according to the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's office. The trial for Jones previously was set for Aug. 7.

Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. on Friday set a competency hearing for Sept. 14 and a pretrial hearing for Sept. 21, according to Jefferson County Circuit Court records.

Jones was indicted in April on a charge of first-degree murder in the Dec. 2, 2006, homicide of Michael Mihalik, 26, of Harpers Ferry.

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Police said a man walked into the Cliffside Bar and Grill at the Quality Inn along U.S. 340 about 10 p.m. and opened fire with a 9 mm automatic handgun.

Jones also was indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of malicious assault, six counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, three counts of shooting at another person in a place of public resort and prohibited person in possession of a firearm, according to Jefferson County Circuit Court records.

Jones is being held without bond at Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg, W.Va.

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