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Prophet waives hearing in W.Va. murder case

June 29, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Virginia man charged in the June 6 deaths of a Bunker Hill, W.Va., woman and her 3-year-old son waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Antonio Prophet, 34, of Lorton, Va., who is charged with two counts of murder, did not appear in the courtroom for the hearing, which attracted several family members and friends of victims Angela Kay Devonshire, 22, and Andre White.

The waiver signed Monday allows the state's double murder case against Prophet to be bound over to circuit court, where evidence can be presented to a grand jury for indictment. The sequestered jury is not scheduled to convene until the beginning of the next term of court in October.

The bodies of Devonshire and her son were found in the rubble of her burned-out house at 69 Way off Sam Mason Road after authorities responded to the garage apartment to battle a fire.

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The West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the boy died before the fire, police have said.

Devonshire died from a cut throat, police have said.

The bodies of Devonshire and White are believed to have fallen through the living room floor into the garage of the house as a result of the fire, and police have said the victims were badly burned.

The woman's youngest son, Daronte White, was found unharmed on the back porch of a neighboring home at 39 Way, police have said.

Reported at about 4:30 a.m., the fire that destroyed the house where the mother and son lived is believed to have been intentionally set, a state fire investigator has said.

Prophet, of 7627 Fairfield Woods Court, was apprehended June 17 by the U.S. Marshals Service and local authorities outside a Charlotte, N.C., homeless shelter, police said.

Prophet claimed his name was James Carter, but admitted his identity when he was taken into custody, the Marshals Service has said.

Prophet had been in West Virginia for about two weeks before the June 6 fire and was dating Devonshire during that time, police said.

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