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New hearing date set in homicide, kidnapping case

July 15, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A preliminary hearing for the man charged with kidnapping and fatally stabbing Katherine Nicole Sharp has been rescheduled for Aug. 13, but Berkeley County's prosecuting attorney said Wednesday she doubts the proceeding will go forward.

Donald B. Surber Jr., 37, of Winchester, Va., is charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of Sharp, who was fatally stabbed during a standoff at her home at 10 Raider Lane in the Ridgefield subdivision near Martinsburg.

Surber was taken into custody by police after the 26-hour standoff, which began on the morning of Sunday, June 14, and ended the following day.

The initial hearing scheduled in magistrate court was postponed June 25 so Surber's competency could be evaluated.

Prosecutor Pamela Jean Games-Neely said Wednesday the psychological evaluation process was not expected to start until next week.

"At this point, it's doubtful it will happen," Games-Neely said of the new preliminary hearing scheduled by Magistrate Sandra L. Miller's office.

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Investigators still are preparing what Games-Neely said will be a substantial police report. Only a portion of the report, which she said is 70 pages, is on her desk. Unfinished work still under way includes researching the defendant's background and his past statements, she said.

The case might occupy an entire "file drawer by the time we're done," Games-Neely said.

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