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Hagerstown man found guilty of felony murder

August 07, 2013
  • Wisotzkey
Wisotzkey

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Hagerstown man was found guilty Wednesday of felony murder in the May 2011 stabbing and beating death of a Falling Waters, W.Va., woman.

Roy L. Wisotzkey, 35, also was found guilty of first-degree robbery, conspiracy and burglary by a Berkeley County Circuit Court jury. He was found not guilty of attempted murder, malicious assault and assault during the commission of a felony.

On May 26, 2011, Wisotzkey and Joshua Stitley, 34, of Hancock allegedly beat Vickie Clem and her husband, Jack Clem, with a baseball bat and stabbed them in a nighttime robbery at their Falling Waters, W.Va., home.

Vickie Clem, 57, was Stitley’s mother. She died from multiple blunt-force and sharp-force injuries to the head and chest.

Stitley’s trial is set for Oct. 22.

In Wisotzkey’s case, the jury of seven men and five women attached mercy to the life sentence that accompanies a felony murder conviction, meaning he will have the possibility for parole after serving 15 years in prison.

The jury deliberated for more than three hours, beginning late Tuesday afternoon after hearing closing arguments and resuming Wednesday morning at 8:55 a.m., according to court officials.

Wisotzkey is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15.

Presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes is expected to decide whether Wisotzkey will serve the life sentence for the felony murder conviction consecutive to prison sentences for the other convictions or at the same time.

Wilkes told Wisotzkey he faces at least 10 years for the robbery conviction, between one and five years for the conspiracy conviction and between one and 15 years for the burglary conviction.

Wisotzkey showed little emotion as a deputy circuit court clerk read the jury’s verdict aloud at about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Defense attorney Christopher Prezioso repeatedly pointed to Stitley as the primary perpetrator in the nighttime robbery.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said it appears the jury believed Wisotzkey went to rob the Clems and not to murder anyone.

“I got the primary justice I was looking for,” Games-Neely said after leaving the courtroom.

Wisotzkey was found not guilty of attempted murder, malicious assault and assault of Jack Clem during the commission of a felony, Games-Neely said.

The jury’s verdict “clearly tells me that they believe Stitley did that (to Jack Clem) on his own,” Games-Neely said.

Clem’s husband, who survived the attack, testified in the trial how he barricaded himself in the bathroom after being stabbed once in the groin and struck in the head with a baseball bat by Stitley.

A now-retired deputy state medical examiner testified that Clem’s wife was stabbed twice in the chest and struck nine times in the head.

Hours afterward, Clem fled the home to a neighbor’s residence for help while the men were asleep in the living room of the house.

Prezioso, who implored the jury in closing arguments to give Wisotzkey the possibility of parole if he were found guilty of felony murder, declined to directly comment about the verdict Wednesday afternoon.

“I just want to thank the jury for their hard work,” Prezioso said.

In addition to Clem’s testimony, jurors heard how a surveillance camera at a bank ATM at Grade Road and U.S. 11 captured Stitley withdrawing $300 in cash from Vickie Clem’s bank account less than eight hours after she was stabbed and beaten.

Jurors also heard recordings of Wisotzkey’s statements to police, which revealed how he and Stitley planned to rob the Clems, and use the baseball bat and a decorative sword to scare the couple.

They also heard how police recovered a black-handled kitchen knife that was later found to have Vickie Clem’s blood on the blade and Wisotzkey’s DNA on the handle.

Money and other items belonging to the Clems also were also found in the possession of the men, jurors were told.

Games-Neely, who was assisted in prosecuting the case by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones, said she was grateful for the work of the West Virginia State Police, the agency’s crime scene team, the staff of her office and the victims’ family.

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