Leonadus Chaney III

Leonadus Chaney III leaves the courtroom Wednesday following his formal arraignment.

FAIRMONT — A 52-year-old Fairmont man indicted on attempted first-degree murder for attacking a man last year pleaded not guilty during his formal arraignment Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

Leonadus Lowell Chaney III of 2 Pennsylvania Ave., Fairmont appeared before Marion County Judge David R. Janes. The judge said Chaney’s trial was set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 1.

According to the original criminal complaint, Chaney attacked a man Sept. 29, 2019, on the man’s property in Fairmont with a large combat-style knife, causing a laceration across the victim’s lower abdomen and exposing the victim’s internal organs.

The complaint states that a Fairmont Police Department patrolman responded to a report of a fight in the city limits of Fairmont. As the officer was responding, Chaney arrived at the station asking for help, saying that he had been involved in a fight on Maple Avenue, according to the court papers.

The officer said he saw the victim laying on the porch of his residence with a bloody towel over his lower abdomen. Underneath the towel, the officer said he could see the victim’s intestines and internal organs, which had been exposed by a large laceration across his stomach, the complaint states.

The officer said these organs were “completely outside of his body and only held in place by the towel covering them.” Also, the officer said he saw a large knife near the victim, which he secured for officer safety. Because of the seriousness of the injuries, the officer obtained a statement from the victim who said Chaney “had been the one who injured him,” according to the court papers.

The complaint states that witnesses told the officer that Chaney had tried to run over the victim with his vehicle and then got out of the vehicle with a knife, pursued the victim onto his property, and caused the laceration to the victim with the knife.

According to the court papers, Chaney yelled “I’m gonna kill you” at the victim as he pursued the victim.

The victim was flown by medical helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital. On Wednesday, the officer said the victim is still alive.

Chaney has since had another recent brush with the law.

While on bond for the felony offense of attempted murder, he was charged with persons prohibited from possessing firearms — carrying concealed and persons prohibited from possessing firearms for an incident Feb. 8 in Fairmont, according to a criminal complaint. Court records show he was also charged with two counts of manufacture/deliver/possess with intent to manufacture/deliver (Schedule (I, II, III Other), and faces a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in Marion County Magistrate Court on these charges. According to court records, he is in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $200,012 bail.

The complaint states that a sergeant with the Fairmont Police Department was traveling at approximately 2:48 a.m. Feb. 8 on Benoni Avenue in Fairmont and saw a black Ford Focus hatchback driving in front of him. The vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Locust Avenue and the sergeant saw it had none of its three brake lights working. A traffic stop was made on Jefferson Street, according to the court papers.

The sergeant recognized the front seat passenger as “Leon L. Chaney” from prior investigations and incidents and knows him to be a habitual user of synthetic marijuana, the complaint states. A K9 officer indicated the presence of controlled substances at the passenger side door, according to the complaint.

The sergeant asked Chaney if he had any synthetic marijuana or other controlled substances, and he said, “I smoked some earlier but I don’t have none on me,” the complaint states.

A search was conducted, and an officer recovered from Chaney a Ruger LCP .380 caliber pistol, concealed on his person, in an inside-the-waistband holster on his right hip, with a fully loaded magazine and chamber, according to the complaint. The complaint states that Chaney excitedly uttered “I forgot about that.” According to the court papers, a fixed blade knife, a handful of plastic sandwich baggies from a back pocket and a black digital scale were also recovered. Chaney was detained for officer safety, handcuffed and seated in the backseat of the officer’s vehicle, the complaint states.

During a search of the vehicle, a black metal canister, which had been in Chaney’s hands before he exited the vehicle, was opened, according to the court papers. The complaint states it contained a green leafy substance that police recognized as synthetic marijuana, weighing 26.1 grams. After the officer arrived at the station and checked the backseat of his cruiser, the officer found a folded piece of paper in his backseat that was discarded by Chaney, the complaint states. According to the court papers, it contained hard white rocks weighing 1.09 grams and tested positive for the presence of cocaine.

In addition to being under indictment in Marion County Circuit Court, the complaint states that a review of Chaney’s Interstate Identification Index criminal history shows him to be a convicted felon, convicted Dec. 12, 2013, of felony transferring/receiving stolen property. In addition, Chaney was convicted on March 25, 2008, in U.S. District Court for distribution of cocaine base, the complaint states. According to the court papers, these felony convictions make Chaney a person prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under state and federal law.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.

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