Bunker Hill man to testify against co-defendant in Martinsburg-area robbery

March 09, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One of two men charged in the violent robbery and beating of a 76-year-old man at his Martinsburg-area home in November has agreed to testify against his co-defendant.

As part of a proposed plea agreement, Evan Russell Shirley, 22, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., would testify against Tyler Shane Munson, 20, also of Bunker Hill, W.Va., according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones.

Both men were indicted by a Berkeley County grand jury last month on counts of burglary, first-degree robbery, conspiracy, assault during the commission of a felony and malicious assault in the bloody home invasion-style robbery.

If presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh accepts the binding plea agreement, Shirley could enter guilty pleas to first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, according to Jones. The remaining charges would be dismissed.

In an arraignment hearing held Friday, Groh scheduled Munson’s trial for June 12.

Under the proposed agreement, Shirley would be sentenced to 16 years in prison for the robbery conviction and one to five years for conspiracy. Both prison terms would be served at the same time,  and Shirley also would have to pay restitution, Jones said.

Police responded to the victim’s home on Nov. 28 and found the frame of the back door destroyed, a blood-soaked recliner and blood spread on a wall next to the chair, according to court documents.

The victim was treated at City Hospital in Martinsburg for multiple wounds to his head and arms, police have said.

Munson, who currently serving three, one- to 10-year prison terms for unrelated felony convictions, pleaded not guilty in his arraignment hearing Friday.

Both Munson and Shirley are incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, according to jail records.

In other court action Friday:

• Hagerstown resident Stephen E. Thompson, 45, was arraigned on charges stemming from the April 14, 2011 motorcycle crash that resulted in the death of Lorena Beth “Lori” Roberts, 43, of Bunker Hill, W.Va.

Thompson of 12202 Cedar Crest Ave., was indicted last month on counts of felony driving under the influence resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and leaving the scene of an accident involving an unattended vehicle.

Groh scheduled Thompson’s trial for June 12. Thompson is free on $10,500 bond, according to court documents.

• Troy Michael Butts, 31, of Martinsburg was arraigned by Groh on one count of malicious assault and one count of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Keith L. Douglas, 43, of Hagerstown and the injury of another Hagerstown man. 

Douglas, who died May 25, 2011, was declared brain dead shortly after he was injured in a fight with Butts on May 24, police have said. Groh also scheduled Butts’ trial for June 12.

• Eric L. Johnson, 36, who was indicted last month on one count of murder in the 2004 slaying of a Martinsburg man, is not expected to be arraigned on the charge until he completes a federal prison sentence for drug convictions, Berkeley County Pamela Games-Neely said Friday.

Johnson is accused of shooting Bart Gilbert Bannar Jr., 60, who had worked as a confidential police informant, according to the Berkeley County prosecutor’s office.

Bannar was found in the driver’s seat of a Toyota truck on Cumberland Valley Place, a small alley off West John Street, on Sept. 14, 2004.

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