|More charges filed against ex-Roane man unrelated to father's death|
By Kathryn Gregory
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Additional charges have been filed against a former Spencer resident who was arrested for allegedly burying his father's body under a porch in New Jersey at the end of May.
Dreu Ferguson, Jr., 33, was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly beating Kevin Riley, a 29-year-old resident of Millville, N.J., causing severe facial injuries on April 5, according to Cumberland County, N.J., prosecutor Ray Casella.
Charges were filed against Ferguson Jr. last week in Cumberland County. The prosecutor's office was unclear why the assault charges were brought almost four months after the initial incident or what the motive for the beating might have been.
His lawyer waived arraignment for the additional charges and a $100,000 bail was set.
Ferguson Jr. has been in custody since May 26, a day after police discovered the body of his father, Dreu Ferguson Sr., buried under the porch of the home where Ferguson Sr. was living in Millville, N.J.
Police allege that Ferguson Jr. dragged his father's body out of the house and under the porch before burying him in a shallow grave as early as May 20. Ferguson allegedly threatened his father's life on May 18.
Ferguson was charged with making threats against his father and improperly disposing of human remains and is being held at the Cumberland County jail on a $125,000 cash bail.
His bail was increased to $225,000 on July 22 after the additional aggravated assault charges were filed.
An official cause of death for the elder Ferguson has not been determined, Casella said.
There were no signs of trauma or markings on Ferguson Sr.'s body when he was found in late May.
The state medical examiner is continuing to run tests on the body to determine how Ferguson Sr. died, Casella said.
Additional charges could be filed against Ferguson after the cause of death is determined.
The aggravated assault charge is another mark on Ferguson Jr.'s record. In 2006, a Mason County, W.Va., Circuit Court jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter after he admitted to killing a neighbor, William Freas, in Spencer in 2003.
The West Virginia Supreme Court later overturned the manslaughter conviction after it was determined that testimony that showed Ferguson Jr.'s diminished mental capacity had been improperly stricken from the court records.
A probable cause hearing for Ferguson in connection to his father's death has been set for Aug. 21.
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