A YEAR AND A HALF HAS PAST - After a day of jury selection and five days of testimony, the prosecution and defense assembled with jurors at the Calhoun courthouse in Grantsville to reach a decision on Ronnie Rush's involvement in one of Calhoun's most gruesome murder cases, the double homicide of Ward Groves and Mary Hicks. While it is unclear what is being planned, it appears that Bobby Shamblin will be brought to court for further action. Shamblin was originally charged with the murders.

A Calhoun jury found 18-year-old Ronnie Rush of Sand Ridge guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the double homicide of Ward Groves and his ex-wife Mary Hicks. The convictions carry 3-18 year sentences each.

Calhoun Prosecuting Attorney Matt Minney said "Rush will spend a considerable time in jail."

He was not found guilty of 1st degree murder.

Defense Attorney T. Monk talks with Ronnie Rush (far left)
and Rush family members, shortly after verdict was read

The jury returned the verdict after deliberating Tuesday evening and yesterday.

Rush was also found guilty on a count of robbery, which carries at least 10 years and a count of burglary which carries 1-15 years.

He was also found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, which carries 1-3 years.

Judge Thomas Evans III read the jury conclusions, saying that Rush was found guilty of first degree robbery, nighttime burglary and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was acquitted on the charges of conspiracy to commit murder by conspiring with one or more other person to murder Groves and conspiracy to commit murder by conspiring with one or more other person to murder Hicks.

The jury returned a special interrogatory that stated "the jury finds that the defendant committed a felony with the use of a firearm." Rush was returned to Central Regional Jail where he will not be eligible for bond. He will return to court on January 25, 2005 for post-trial motions.

Paul King and his sister Rose Settles, children of victim Mary Hicks,
whose death was described as "Mary's Misfortune,"
waited all day yesterday to hear the verdict ...

... as did Ronnie Rush's father, Abe Rush
and Ronnie's mother Harriett Rush Shaffer of Parkersburg