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Man accused in fatal W.Va. shooting pleads guilty to firearms violation

August 06, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man accused in the 2008 shooting death of a Stephens City, Va., man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week to one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm on May 2009, U.S. Attorney Betsy C. Jividen's office announced Thursday.

Elan Bell-Veney, 24, was indicted in February by a Berkeley County grand jury on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of wanton endangerment and two counts of malicious assault in the July 20, 2008, shooting death of Kenneth E. Waybright at the former Orioles Club at 214 Mid Atlantic Parkway near Martinsburg.

In March, Bell-Veney was named in a three-count federal indictment that charged him with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number in May 2009, and distribution of marijuana in June 2009, according to court records.

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In the state's case against Bell-Veney, Waybright, 37, was determined by police to be an innocent bystander in the shooting. The victim, according to police, was fatally wounded by a bullet that ricocheted and struck him in the head.

Police have said that Bell-Veney had been arguing with another man before the defendant began shooting, according to court records.

Two other men were wounded in the shooting, but since have recovered from their injuries, police have said.

Bell-Veney, who is currently in custody, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to a news release from Jividen's office.

The federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul T. Camilletti. The case was investigated by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, the Martinsburg Police Department, the Charles Town Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

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