By Bob Weaver

After about seven hours of deliberation, a Jackson County jury found Calhoun resident Ronnie Allen Rush, 21, guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree for killing Ward Groves and Mary Hicks in 2003.

There was a recommendation for mercy attached to both counts.

The jury also found Rush guilty of Count 3, first degree robbery; Court 4, nighttime burglary; Count 8, conspiracy to commit robbery.

Rush could be sentenced at a hearing on December 7th.

Rush was being re-tried for the double murder of 69-year-old Warden Groves and 60-year-old Mary Hicks, both shot at close range while they slept in their Sand Ridge community home.

Rush was 16 at the time.

The original case was heard in Calhoun in December 2004. Although riddled with problems related to the State Police's investigation, a jury found Rush guilty.

Rush's public defenders Monk and Holmes appealed the case and a re-trial was ordered by the WV Supreme Court.

Judge Thomas Evans III ordered a change of venue to Jackson County.

An effort to reach a plea agreement in the case against Rush failed earlier this year.

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