(09/02/2009)
By Kathryn Gregory
Staff writer
wvgazette.com

A former Spencer resident accused of burying his father's body under the porch of his home in Millville, N.J., has withdrawn his motion for a probable cause hearing.

The hearing would have forced prosecutors to reveal the evidence used to file charges against him to determine whether the charges are legitimate.

Dreu Ferguson Jr., 33, 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.

Police say Ferguson Jr. dragged his father's body out of the house and under the porch before burying him in a shallow grave on May 20. Ferguson allegedly threatened his father's life on May 18.

Ferguson Jr., is not charged with killing his father, only threatening him with violence and burying him under the porch.

The cause of death for Ferguson Sr. is still under investigation, according to Cumberland County, N.J., assistant prosecutor John Jesperson. The county is waiting for information from several state agencies, Jesperson said.

There were no marks on the body that indicated how Ferguson Sr. died.

Ferguson Jr. could face more charges in the death of his father, said Cumberland prosecutor Ronald Casella, but it is too early for the prosecutors to tell.

Ferguson Jr.'s bail was originally set for $125,000, but was increased to $225,000 after additional aggravated assault charges were filed.

Kevin Riley, a 29-year-old resident of Millville, N.J., alleged that he was beaten up by Ferguson Jr. on April 5 and suffered severe facial injuries.

The aggravated assault charge is another mark on the Ferguson Jr.'s record. In 2006, a Mason County Circuit Court jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter after he admitted to killing his neighbor, William Freas, in Spencer in 2003.

The West Virginia Supreme Court later overturned the manslaughter conviction after it was determined that testimony showing Ferguson Jr.'s diminished mental capacity had been improperly stricken from the court records.

Ferguson Jr. is at the Cumberland County Jail pending an indictment in the case.

wvgazette.com


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