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Additional charges dropped against man convicted of rape and homicide of W.Va woman

October 08, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 27 in the 2007 Memorial Day weekend rape and homicide of a Martinsburg woman will not be prosecuted on a separate indictment charging him with threatening a state Department of Health and Human Resources employee.

Anthony Charles Juntilla's conviction last month on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and conspiracy to commit the murder of Tina Marie Starcher caused the DHHR employee to decide not to pursue another conviction, according to Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely.

"The victim in this case, based on the other (outcome) ... did not wish to proceed and we honored her wishes," Games-Neely said Tuesday, the day Juntilla's trial was scheduled.

A jury seated for Juntilla's murder trial decided the 39-year-old man should not have an opportunity for parole while serving a life sentence for the guilty verdict they returned on the first-degree murder charge. In addition to the life sentence, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge David H. Sanders can add additional years to the defendant's sentence for the other convictions.


Juntilla's second indictment stemmed from a reported incident at the Berkeley County Judicial Center within three or four days after Starcher's murder.

On May 30, 2007, Juntilla allegedly told an attorney representing him in an abuse and neglect case that state officials involved "don't want me to do what I am capable of doing" and was accused of threatening to hit a child protective services worker over the head with a chair, police had said.

Juntilla's now ex-girlfriend reported the homicide on June 17, 2007. Starcher's body was found June 20 near the northeastern Berkeley County community of Scrabble, W.Va.

The jury deliberated for more than six hours before returning guilty verdicts in the case.

Starcher was killed in a town house at 86 Tecumseh Trail in The Woods subdivision west of Hedgesville, W.Va., where the defendant and his girlfriend resided, according to the girlfriend's testimony.

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