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Court to hear arguments on Grimes appeal

February 25, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, in a 3-2 decision this week, agreed to hear further arguments on a man's appeal of a second-degree murder conviction for the shooting death of Ronald K. Kidrick in a motel parking lot in 2005.

In January 2007, Edward C. Grimes, 27, of Martinsburg, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the July 2005 shooting death of Ronald K. Kidrick of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Grimes' attorney, John P. Adams of the 23rd Judicial Circuit's public defender's office, appealed the case to the high court, alleging there was misconduct before the grand jury, evidentiary error, insufficient evidence to allow the jury to consider first-degree murder and a disproportionate sentence, among other challenges.

Chief Justice Brent D. Benjamin and Justice Margaret L. Workman dissented in motion docket proceedings held Tuesday.

At his sentencing hearing, Grimes apologized to Kidrick's family, but also maintained his shooting of Kidrick at the Relax Inn at 1022 Winchester Ave. was in self-defense.

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Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely said Wednesday her chief deputy assistant prosecutor, Christopher C. Quasebarth, likely would present the state's arguments to the high court.

In another 3-2 decision on Tuesday, the state's high court refused to hear an appeal of Kearneysville, W.Va., resident Raymond Hoak's voluntary manslaughter conviction in November 2007.

Hoak was sentenced in January 2008 to serve six years in prison for the 2003 shooting death of Larry Hose outside Images Nightclub near Middleway, W.Va., in Jefferson County.

While Grimes' appeal still is moving forward, Games-Neely noted two unanimous decisions by the Supreme Court on Jan. 22 and Feb. 3 to refuse to hear the respective appeals in the murder convictions for Thomas A. Dawson and Wade W. Painter.

Dawson, now 23, appealed his conviction of felony murder and first-degree arson in the August 2006 death of his stepmother, Jeannette K. Dawson, 41, at her home north of Martinsburg.

Painter appealed his conviction on two counts of first-degree murder, daytime burglary, grand larceny, daytime burglary by breaking and entering, petit larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle in the September 2005 deaths of Raymond White Jr., 64, and White's son, Raymond White IV, 20, south of Martinsburg.

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