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Defense requests postponement in W.Va. murder trial

Former attorney forced to withdraw because of conflict of interest

July 11, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Angela Devonshire and her son, Andre White, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., died in Devonshire's apartment June 6, 2010.
File photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Attorneys representing a Virginia man charged in the June 2010 deaths of a Berkeley County woman and her young son have asked that the Aug. 30 trial be postponed.

Antonio Prophet, 35, of Lorton, Va., is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson in the deaths of Angela Kay Devonshire, 22, and Andre White, 3, of Bunker Hill, W.Va.

A status hearing scheduled for Monday was continued until next Monday, less than a week after defense attorney S. Andrew Arnold was appointed to the case by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

Arnold replaces Christopher Prezioso, who was forced to withdraw due to a conflict of interest involving another case, according to court documents.

Arnold, who was appointed to the case last Tuesday, joins attorney B. Craig Manford in representing Prophet, who is in Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, W.Va.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said Monday she did not object to the defense motion.

Prophet is accused of slitting Angela Devonshire’s throat in her apartment off Sam Mason Road on June 6 and then leaving the residence after setting it on fire, court records said.

The fire originated in the living-room area of the residence, and it appeared that both victims fell through the living-room floor of the garage apartment as it burned, court records said.

Prophet fled the area afterward, but was captured June 17, 2010, outside a homeless shelter in Charlotte, N.C., authorities said.

Prophet, who has aliases of Antonio McCreary and James Carter, was indicted in February 2011 on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson.

He was being held without bond.

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