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Judge's illness delays Hagerstown man's murder trial in W.Va.

January 10, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Brock Jerome Smith
Brock Jerome Smith

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The trial scheduled to begin Tuesday for a 22-year-old Hagerstown man charged in the January 2011 shooting death of Damon M. Scott was postponed because presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes is ill, Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely’s office announced Tuesday morning.

Games-Neely said later on Tuesday that a status hearing will be held Jan. 17 to possibly set up a new trial date.  

Brock Jerome Smith, who was indicted in May 2011 on one count of murder, is being held at Eastern Regional Jail without bond.

Scott was shot just after 3 a.m. on Jan. 15 outside Club Zero, which operated at 1774 Winchester Ave., just south of Martinsburg.

The private club’s license was canceled after the shooting, according to the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration’s online database.

Police have said that Scott had gunshot entry wounds on the right side of his chest and on his back above his right kidney.

Outside the club, police found multiple 9mm shell casings after the shooting  A witnessed testified in a preliminary hearing held in Berkeley County Magistrate Court that he saw Smith, of 623 George St., jump into the passenger seat of a car that was later identified as a Chrysler 300 and leave the club parking lot.

Another witness told police that Smith shot Scott, who was also known as “Gotti,” in self-defense after Scott pulled a gun on the defendant and attempted to rob him, according to court records.

After the shooting, the Chrysler was pursued by West Virginia authorities into Maryland. The chase ended near Clear Spring when the car went off U.S. 40 and crashed in a wooded area, Maryland State Police had said.

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