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Probable cause found in slaying case

June 21, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The state's case against two men charged in the April 23 stabbing death of Martinsburg resident Andre Jackson is on track to be presented to a grand jury in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

In separate preliminary hearings Tuesday afternoon, Magistrate Joan V. Bragg found sufficient evidence for the cases pending against James Glenn Cross Jr., 32, and Thomas Anthony Grantham, 35, to proceed.

Cross, of Kearneysville, W.Va., is charged with murder in the death of Jackson, 21. Grantham, of Martinsburg, is charged with malicious wounding of Jacques Taylor and attempted murder of Jackson.

Taylor testified in Tuesday's preliminary hearing for Grantham that he remembered being stabbed, but admitted he couldn't definitively say Grantham had attacked him while Taylor and Jackson were parked along the 1900 block of Rock Cliff Drive near Polo Green Drive.

Taylor said he and Jackson arrived there after having an argument in the parking lot of Brickhouse Bar & Grill with the defendants, who followed the victims to a gas station and then to the Polo Green apartment complex off Rock Cliff Drive.

Bar patron Sheron Yates testified that in the Brickhouse parking lot, she intervened and helped break up the altercation, but said she ultimately was a witness to the stabbing.

Yates, who said she has known Cross since high school, testified that it appeared as if the defendants were punching into the car, but she later discovered that the victims had actually been stabbed.

Yates said she followed Cross and Grantham in another vehicle after they left the bar parking lot in a white Mercedes Benz driven by Grantham because she wanted to try to stop Cross from getting into trouble. Yates said she called Cross on his cell phone, but he didn't answer.

Jackson, who died at City Hospital after being stabbed multiple times, had noticeable abdominal stab wounds, witnesses testified.

Taylor said he remembered Jackson telling him "he got me" after being stabbed. Yates said Grantham attempted to run over Jackson after he got out of Taylor's vehicle where he was stabbed.

Jackson said he was stabbed in the neck, chest, shoulder and arm and "blanked out" for a while after being attacked.

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