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Surber waives extradition, is returned to Berkeley County

June 24, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The man charged in the kidnapping and stabbing death of Katherine Nicole Sharp was returned to Berkeley County Wednesday from Winchester, Va., where he was being treated for gunshot wounds he received last week when correctional officers said he attempted to escape from them at City Hospital in Martinsburg.

The Eastern Regional Jail's Web site said Donald B. Surber Jr., 37, of Winchester, was readmitted to the jail Wednesday at 3:25 p.m., less than 24 hours before his scheduled appearance in Berkeley County Magistrate Court this morning for a preliminary hearing on charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping.  

Surber waived extradition at a Virginia detention center, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely, who announced Surber's return to Berkeley County. Surber has not applied for court-appointed legal counsel, Games-Neely said Wednesday.

Six Berkeley County Sheriff's Department deputies and a K-9 provided the security detail for Surber's transport from Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester to Berkeley County Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster Jr. said.

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The trip was "uneventful," Lemaster said.

Surber was taken Friday to City Hospital for medical treatment after Eastern Regional Jail authorities said he cut own his wrists while incarcerated there.

After being treated at the hospital, police said Surber tried to flee and when he was unable leave the facility, he turned toward one of two correctional officers guarding him and lunged for his gun. The officer shot him once, wounding him in the arm and torso, police have said. Surber then was taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment.

Surber was to be arraigned on one felony count of escape from custody of the state Commissioner of Corrections upon returning to Berkeley County. The warrant charging Surber with escape was issued Saturday by Magistrate Harry L. Snow, but had not been executed as of Wednesday night.

The warrant charging Surber with first-degree murder alleges the homicide occurred June 14 when a standoff with police began just before noon at Sharp's three-bedroom home in the Ridgefield subdivision off W.Va. 9 west of Martinsburg.

The standoff did not end until the afternoon of June 15, more than 24 hours after Sharp's teenage daughter called 911 for help, according to magistrate court and real estate records.

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