Trial for W.Va. man charged in murder, robbery is postponed

February 13, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The trial for one of three men charged in the 2008 shooting death of Kenneth E. Waybright was postponed Monday for a second time in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Donzell W. White, 26, along with Dale E. Knight, 25, was indicted in May 2011 on counts of felony murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy, according to court documents.

White’s trial was scheduled for March 6 after it was originally scheduled in September, according to court records.

In his motion to request the continuance of the trial, defense attorney Gregory V. Smith asked for more time to investigate the case and obtain an expert to reconstruct the scene of the fatal shooting, according to court documents. A new date for the trial was not decided in Monday’s hearing on Smith’s motion, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said after the proceeding.

A trial for Knight has yet to be scheduled because he is serving in federal prison in New Jersey, court records said.

White, of Martinsburg, was placed on home confinement and GPS monitoring in June 2011, after he was released from jail on a $150,000 bond, the records said.

Elan Bell-Veney, the third man charged in Waybright’s death, was sentenced to six years in prison in May 2011, after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and wanton endangerment charges, the records said.

Waybright, 37, of Stephens City, Va., was determined by police to be an innocent bystander in the shooting. Waybright was fatally wounded by a bullet that ricocheted and struck him in the head, according to police.

Attorneys familiar with the case have said Bell-Veney was acting in self-defense in the fatal shooting, and White and Knight are accused of robbing Bell-Veney, court records said.

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