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Man gets 20-year sentence in W.Va. slaying

November 20, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- One of two men charged in the execution-style homicide of Martinsburg resident Donald L. "Dee" Redman in 2005 was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.

Kurtis Michael Pearsall, 25, aka "Prince" and "Kurt the Flirt," of New York City, entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement accepted by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

The plea deal allows Pearsall to possibly serve the prison sentence concurrently or at the same time as a jail term that he received in Maryland in an unrelated drug-dealing case, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely said.

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Games-Neely said Maryland is not bound by law to recognize the plea deal brokered in Berkeley County and could return the defendant to West Virginia to serve more time.

Pearsall is not expected to complete the Maryland prison sentence until 2012.

"We're satisfied with the outcome of it and so are the victims," Games-Neely said.

The plea deal that Pearsall accepted was similar to an offer that Games-Neely said was extended to John J. Grant, aka "Butter," the co-defendant in the case.

Grant, 24, and also of New York City, was found guilty of second-degree murder in a jury trial in November 2007 and was sentenced in February to 40 years in prison.

On the second day of his trial, Grant denied shooting Redman and backed away from a plea deal at the last minute that also would have resulted in a 20-year prison sentence.

Games-Neely said Pearsall had the advantage of reviewing the evidence presented in Grant's trial to make his decision.

Pearsall and Grant were linked to the execution-style shooting of Redman, 29, of Martinsburg in the early morning hours of Oct. 27, 2005, at 217 N. Third St.

Authorities found Redman shot in the head in the porch area of 215 N. Third St., where authorities said his body had been dragged after the shooting happened in a crack house.

Wanted on an outstanding warrant for murder, Pearsall, initially only known as Prince, was found at Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown in April by Martinsburg Police Department investigators.

Maryland authorities arrested Pearsall in January 2007 in Allegany County, Md., and charged him with seven drug-related offenses, according to court records.

Pearsall was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July 2007, according to a Roxbury Correctional Institution spokesperson and district court records.

Three years of Pearsall's sentence was suspended as part of a plea agreement and he was ordered to serve five years of probation.

A third suspect in the Redman homicide case, Deandre Fullen, aka "Dollar," entered a guilty plea to accessory after the fact and received a one-year jail sentence. Fullen had been charged with aiding and abetting the murder.

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