By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
William Michael Horton Jr. goes back on trial today om four charges left over from a December 2011 trial.
An appeal by his defense attorney, David DeMoss, to dismiss two of these four counts was denied in pretrial hearing Tuesday by Circuit Judge Michael Aloi.
In June 2010, Horton, two cousins (Shaquille Lewis and the late John Cottingham) and a fourth individual, who has not been charged, allegedly conspired to rob a local drug dealer.
Very little went as planned. The fourth person left. Horton switched places with Lewis, then 16, opting to act as look out while Lewis took his place as robber.
The intended victim was not at the residence. Cottingham and Lewis instead found Sarah Sanders. Lewis beat her and they took her across Quarry Avenue to the home of David Hitchener, who she said had the drugs and money they were looking for. Hitchener and Cottingham got into a scuffle, Hitchener got hold of the gun, and shot and killed Cottingham.
Horton was arrested days later and indicted on six counts. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit a felony and acquitted of kidnaping in a December 2011 trial. A jury was deadlocked on four other counts (two each of nighttime burglary and nighttime robbery), resulting in a mistrial.