(02/21/2007)
SHERIFF'S DEPUTY CRITICAL - A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy is recovering in a Washington, DC hospital after being shot while responding to a report of a breaking and entering in Ranson.

The man suspected of shooting him is dead. Police indicate he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Corporal Ronald Fletcher was shot after chasing the suspect into a house. Other officers were able to talk the suspect into letting them inside to remove the wounded officer, but the suspect then held them at bay for seven hours.

The suspect released two children who were in the house with him. The man was dating the children's mother.

WEAPON FOUND AT MASON SCHOOL - The Mason sheriff's department and school officials are vague, but say they're looking into something that happened on Hannan Junior-Senior High School property last Friday.

Sources at the scene say a weapon was found on school property.

School Superintendent Larry Parsons says there may be student expulsions and a possible violation of the Federal Safe Schools Act.

MINGO MAN SENT TO PRISON - It will be 30 years before a Mingo County man convicted of a double murder will be eligible for parole.

Melvin Randall Messer, 20, of Kermit was sentenced to two consecutive life terms with mercy in Mingo County Circuit Court.

Messer was convicted last month of two counts of first-degree murder, killing Christopher Chapman and Walter Gauze, both 25 of Marrowbone last April.

Messer told the court he fired the shots, but said it was done in self-defense.

BUCKHANNON ARMED ROBBERY An armed man held up an Upshur County convenience store. The man, wearing a ski mask, entered the Mountaineer Mart on old U.S. 33, about one and a half miles west of Buckhannon. He showed a firearm and demanded money. The 6 feet 2 inch man weighed about 250 pounds.

Police think the robber is the same man who drove off without paying for gasoline at Dean's Variety Mart, about eight miles east of Buckhannon on U.S. 33. He was driving a Saturn coupe.


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