CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A Harpers Ferry, W.Va., man pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder and related charges in the December 2006 shooting death of a bartender in Harpers Ferry and likely will not be eligible for parole for more than 25 years.
James Robert Jones, 26, of 180 Campground Road, entered the plea agreement before 23rd Circuit Judge David H. Sanders, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Larry Crofford. The guilty plea was under "Alford circumstances," said Crofford, meaning Jones did not contest the state's case, but did not have to make a statement in court regarding the crime.
On the night of Dec. 2, 2006, Michael Mihalik, 26, of Harpers Ferry, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest when Jones entered the Cliffside Bar and Grill at the Quality Inn on U.S. 340 and opened fire with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, police said.
Two other men, Sean Foster and Richard Bannerman, were wounded in the incident, Crofford said.