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Surber indicted in W.Va. kidnap-slaying

October 20, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Winchester, Va., man charged in the stabbing death of his girlfriend during a two-day police standoff in June and a subsequent attempt to escape from correctional officers was named in a multicount indictment on Tuesday by a Berkeley County grand jury, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely's office.

Donald B. Surber Jr., 37, was indicted on counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, felony destruction of property, domestic assault, burglary, attempted escape, attempt to disarm an officer and attempt to possess a weapon by inmate of jail.

Surber, who remains incarcerated in Belington, W.Va., at Tygart Valley Regional Jail, was due to appear in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, but Games-Neely said the case was continued by the defense counsel that was appointed by the court to represent him.

Surber is charged in the slaying of Katherine Nicole Sharp, with whom he had an on-again-off-again relationship, authorities have said.

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Surber held Sharp hostage in her home at 10 Raider Lane in the Ridgefield subdivision off W.Va. 9 west of Martinsburg on June 14 and 15, according to police accounts. 

A warrant charging Surber with murder said Sharp was killed June 14. The standoff ended on the afternoon of June 15, court records state.

After his arrest, Surber attempted suicide by cutting his wrists while in the Eastern Regional Jail and he later tried to escape police guards after being treated for his wounds at City Hospital in Martinsburg, according to published reports.

Also indicted Tuesday was James L. Blackford III of 167 Laing Drive, Martinsburg. Blackford is accused of starting a fire in April that destroyed a large barn in Bedington, W.Va., and severely injured a volunteer firefighter who responded to the blaze.

Blackford, 30, who was indicted on counts of first-degree arson, setting fire to lands and causing serious injury during an arson-related crime, was one of 32 people named in indictments decided Tuesday, the beginning of the October term of circuit court in Berkeley County.

The jury panel is expected to continue hearing the state's evidence today, according to Games-Neely's office. Members of the grand jury meet behind closed doors, hearing evidence from prosecutors and police. Neither defendants nor their attorneys are present or present evidence.

Among those also indicted Tuesday were:

o Daniel E. Aikens, 21, of 146 Mission Road, Harpers Ferry, W.Va., on counts of burglary, conspiracy, petit larceny and destruction of property in December 2008.

o David W. Myers, 30, incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, on two counts of domestic battery third offense, burglary, conspiracy, petit larceny, driving revoked DUI third offense in January, May and August 2009.

o Jason LeDuc, 18, incarcerated in ERJ, on counts of burglary, conspiracy and petit larceny in August 2009.

o Kristine M. Pugh, 32, of 27 Gall Drive, Martinsburg, on one count of welfare fraud in 2007.

o Jennifer J. Ramirez, 29, of 89 Rudolph Court, Martinsburg, on one count of welfare fraud between 2005 and 2006.

o Alexandra Stotler, 36, of 17 Stadium Circle, Inwood, W.Va., on one count of welfare fraud between 2005 and 2006.

o Kristie A. Foster, 38, of 1222 Virginia Ave., Apt. 1, Hagerstown, on one count of welfare fraud between 2006 and 2008.

o Allen Wiggins, 61, of 219 S. Raleigh St., Martinsburg, on two counts of malicious assault and one count of domestic battery in February 2009.

o Joseph L. Stephens, 50, incarcerated at ERJ, on one count of domestic battery third offense in May 2009.

o James L. Arnold, 61, of 707 Snapp St., Martinsburg, on one count of driving under the influence third offense in August 2008.

o Matthew L. Brown, 26, of 616 N. Queen St., Martinsburg, on one count of first-degree robbery in September 2008.

o Ernest E. Davis Jr., 36, incarcerated at ERJ, on one count of first-degree robbery and conspiracy in May 2009.

o Medford C. Grubb, 68, of 3372 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg, on one count of DUI third offense in May 2009.

o Darryl Johnson, 46, of 329 S. Maple Ave., Martinsburg, on one count of delivery of cocaine in March 2009.

o John A. Jollon, 42, incarcerated at ERJ, on counts of burglary and petit larceny in August 2009.

o Jason S. Kesner, 33, 700 W. King St., Apt. 36, Martinsburg, on one count of domestic battery third offense in July 2009.

o Allen E. Murphy, 29, of 54 Old Martinsburg Road, Shepherdstown, W.Va., on one count of grand larceny in February 2008.

o Fuquan H. Nath, 35, incarcerated at ERJ, on one count of grand larceny in August 2009.

o Bo M. Smith, 25, of 102 Berry St., Martinsburg, on one count of delivery of heroin in June 2008.

o George W. Reeves, 62, of 114 Tanglewood Drive, Martinsburg, on one count of delivery of cocaine in April 2008.

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