Advertisement

Berkeley County judge dismisses felony murder charges against two men

prosecutor says she will appeal

March 04, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Citing a recent state Supreme Court decision, Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge Gray Silver III on Monday dismissed felony murder charges against two men in the 2008 shooting death of a man at the former Orioles Club on Mid Atlantic Parkway.

Dale E. Knight, 26, and Donzell W. White, 27, also were indicted on charges of first-degree robbery and conspiracy in connection with the death of Kenneth E. Waybright. Those charges are pending.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely told Silver she intended to appeal his decision to the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

Silver separately signed an order Monday revoking Knight’s bond after officials discovered he was arrested early Sunday for driving under the influence on Apple Harvest Drive, according to court records.

Knight was remanded to federal custody Monday on $150,000 bond to finish serving about 3 1/2 months of a prison sentence for another case.

Waybright, 37, of Stephens City, Va., was determined by police to be an innocent bystander in the July 20 shooting at the former Orioles Club at 214 Mid Atlantic Parkway. Waybright was fatally wounded by a bullet that ricocheted and struck him in the head, according to police.

Games-Neely said the state has statements that allege Knight and White were robbing Elan Bell-Veney, a third man charged in Waybright’s death, at the time of the fatal shooting.

Bell-Veney, who was said to be acting in self-defense, was sentenced to six years in prison in May 2011 for his role in the shooting. Bell-Veney pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and wanton endangerment.

Silver said he believes present state law required him to dismiss the felony murder charges and it was his responsibility to try the case in accordance with the law as it is presently written.

Games-Neely said the case against Knight and White is different than the Hancock County felony murder case that the Supreme Court decided in November because an innocent bystander was killed in the Berkeley County case.

The court is not expected to take any further action regarding the pending indictments against Knight and White until the state’s high court acts on Games-Neely’s appeal.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|