(08/03/2006)
By Drew Moody
For the Hur Herald
drewmoody@verizon.net

The air was thick in the Gilmer County Courthouse Wednesday. High temperatures and no air conditioning added to the weightiness of the day.

Everett Campbell, charged with first degree murder and facing a life sentence in connection with the July 26th shooting death of a Moundsville man, made his second court appearance in as many weeks.

Everett Campbell, left, is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the July 26th shooting death of a Moundsville man. Campbell and his attorney are pictured just prior to the beginning of Wednesday morning's hearing before Circuit Judge Jack Alsop. (Photo by Drew Moody)

Campbell claims his ex-wife and Mark Medley were harassing his sister who apparently had his two young children with her that fateful day. According to court records, Campbell said the pair attempted to force his sister's car off the road as she was bringing his children home. Campbell was following them in a separate vehicle.

Ultimately, after apparently firing one warning shot in the air, Campbell fired a the fatal shot at the victim who died shortly afterward. He claims the shot from the .357 magnum was meant to hit Medley in the leg. The bullet apparently struck Medley in the upper rib - lower chest area.

There is some indication in police records that Medley may have been the one who called police for assistance that evening. A 9-1-1 call was placed just minutes before shots rang out that night in Sand Fork.

West Virginia State SrTr R.P. Smith was the first officer on the scene. Records indicate he heard two shots fired as he was leaving state police headquarters located just 300 yards east of trailer home situated near WV State Route 5.

After securing the crime scene SrTr Smith gave Mark Medley first aid until ambulance crews arrived.

Glenville Police Chief John Moss said today that Medley and Campbell's ex-wife, Mary Ann Campbell, approached him at the Glenville Go-Mart, asking for assistance in getting the children.

Mary Ann Campbell apparently lied to Moss when she claimed she had full custody of the children. Moss offered to help, providing they could produce court documents supporting their claim, but they could not.

"I got the feeling she didn't really have the paperwork," Moss said. Moss was not aware of any other details pertaining to the incident. "It was just about an hour later that Medley was shot," Moss remembered.

Moss was called to the court house today to help with security, as there were so many members of both victim's families milling around the courthouse after the hearing. There were no incidents; calling Moss was a precautionary measure.

The mood at the courthouse was somber. It was a day of sorrow, tension and suffering for members of Campbell's family; but also for several members of Mark Medley's family who traveled more than six hours to attend the bond hearing. The Medley family is from London, Kentucky.

The hearing was delayed about an hour, beginning at 10:45 a.m. A small crowd gathered in the stairwells of the hot courthouse waiting for a juvenile hearing to conclude.

After defense attorney David Karickhoff argued for a reasonable bond amount - suggesting $20,000 - West Virginia 14th Circuit Court Judge Jack Alsop set bond at $150,000. Campbell was quickly able to raise the necessary funds to make bail and was released shortly after noon.

Judge Alsop told the court he generally doesn't set bond in a capital murder case, and appeared reluctant to do so in this instance.

After hearing a litany of information regarding the impoverished state of Campbell's overall finances, the judge may well have believed $150,000 represented an amount beyond Campbell's means.

Prior to that decision, Karickhoff and Judge Alsop had significantly differing opinions about the merits of the defense's low bond request.

"We would concede the seriousness of this charge," Karickhoff told the judge. "But we would note it's just a charge and he hasn't been convicted."

Judge Alsop reacted instantly, suggesting that based on the evidence in the case the defendant did indeed pull the trigger of the .357 magnum that killed Mark Medley the evening of July 26th. Alsop told the court there was a confession and there was no debate over who actually did the shooting.

Karickhoff starting waving papers in the air, telling the judge the shooting was "in self defense and in the defense of others."

Later the judge said there were statements in the record claiming the defendant had been receiving threats from someone.

The judge strenuously questioned the defense attorney regarding the issue of Campbell driving around the area with a loaded pistol in the floorboard of his car.

"There was a loaded .357 on the floorboard of your client's vehicle, is that correct," the judge asked?

"He (referring to the defendant) said he had it for deer hunting - in the middle of the summer - isn't that a bit unusual?" Judge Alsop appeared to doubt the veracity of Campbell's statement regarding the issue.

Alsop concluded it appeared to the court he had the weapon for self-defense - not deer hunting.

After telling the court he generally didn't set bond in capital murder cases, without fan fair he decided to in this instance.

The bond hearing began with testimony from the defendant's sister, Sue Ann Scott of Glenville. She took the stand hoping to help pursuade the court to believe Campbell was not a flight risk, or danger to the community, should bail be set. She was clearly nervous as she spoke to the court.

Scott testified her brother lived in Sand Fork with his father. It is the same trailer where the shooting occurred, some 300 yards west of the West Virginia State Police headquarters. Everett Campbell has two children and was granted custody of both of them in a divorce, Scott said.

A family member, who asked not to be identified, said the children are temporarily staying with a close family member.

Unofficial sources have also said there are indications the problems between Campbell, his ex-wife, and the children have been ongoing for some time.

Campbell's sister told the court her brother would never leave the area because of his children. The defendant also has many family members in Gilmer County and is apparently employed by Babcock Lumber in Glenville.

As he left the courthouse Everett Campbell said was looking forward to telling his side of the story, but had been advised by his attorney not to speak to anyone at this time.

"It'll all come out," Campbell said confidently.

Prior to Campbell's release, David Karickhoff also declined to make any comments concerning the case.


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