The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 18, 2014

Prosecutor recuses himself from shooting probe

Wilson says he’s ‘personally acquainted with the family’ of boy who was shot April 9

FAIRMONT — Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Wilson has recused himself from an investigation involving the shooting of an 11-year-old boy.

The incident happened April 9 when Fairmont police responded to a shooting incident. On the morning of April 10, Fairmont Police Chief Kelley Moran distributed a press release that revealed the injured person was an 11-year-old male.

Moran confirmed Tuesday that the investigation will be changing prosecutors.

“Prosecuting Attorney Pat Wilson has written a letter to the Prosecutors Institute asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case,” Moran said. “It’s my understanding that the prosecutor of Preston County (Mel Snyder) will be handling prosecution of the case where the 11-year-old boy was shot.”

Moran said the 11-year-old boy “has not been released from the hospital” and that “he’s still in intensive care.”

Wilson confirmed Tuesday that he had recused himself from the investigation.

“I am personally acquainted with the family,” Wilson said. “The young man that was injured is one of my students in a karate class. I teach karate. And I felt that it would be most objectively fair to have someone who is independent make the final decisions regarding the investigation.”

According to Moran, the new prosecutor will meet with Fairmont police to discuss the investigation.

“After we meet with the prosecutor, he might go through the case files, question the investigators and request additional followup on certain areas,” Moran said. “He might look at it and say that’s enough for him to make a decision whether he’s to ask first to obtain a warrant for someone’s arrest, to not arrest anybody or just to hear the case before the next grand jury.”

When contacted, the Preston County Prosecuting Attorney’s office did not want to comment on the investigation.

Fairmont police responded to a shooting incident at 7:52 p.m. April 9 at a Fairmont residence, according to a press release.

According to the Marion County Central Communications 911 log, HealthNet was dispatched at 8:02 p.m. that day. HealthNet landed in the Food Lion parking lot near the intersection of Country Club Road and Locust Avenue at 8:28 p.m. and was in air by 8:57 p.m.

On April 16, Fairmont Police Lt. Steve Shine said the incident appeared to be unintentional and accidental.

Shine said the limited release of details, including names, the nature of the shooting and the location of the home, was being done out of respect for the family involved.

Email Richard Babich at rbabich@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.

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