Suspect indicted in W.Va. sheriff's slaying

By: WYMT Staff Email
By: WYMT Staff Email
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UPDATED: 4/22/2013 @ 4:50pm
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - A Mingo County grand jury has indicted the man accused of killing Sheriff Eugene Crum.

An official in the circuit clerk's office said that a grand jury on Monday charged 37-year-old Tennis Maynard with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing authorities.

State Police charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on a deputy during a chase that followed the April 3 slaying. The deputy told investigators he shot Maynard in self-defense.

Investigators have not discussed a possible motive.

Maynard remains hospitalized in Huntington. No arraignment date has been set.

Authorities have said Maynard bought several guns after he'd been determined legally ineligible to own them.

It's unclear why he couldn't own guns, but Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had been institutionalized.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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UPDATED 4/17/2013 @ 5:30 pm

MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT) - Officials now believe the man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff may have illegally bought multiple guns.

Tennis Maynard is accused of shooting and killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, and officials say he was not legally allowed to own a gun.

They say Maynard bought the gun used to kill Sheriff Crum in Logan County along with several others.

Officials will not say why Maynard is not allowed to own guns, but Maynard's family has said he has a history of mental illness.

Maynard is being charged with murder of the sheriff and attempted murder of a deputy.

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UPDATED: 4/10/2013 @ 6:30 pm

MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT) - It has been one week since Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was gunned down during his lunch break.

Now a West Virginia senator says he is backing a bipartisan deal aimed at keeping firearms away from criminals and mentally ill.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick Toomey have announced a deal that would expand background checks for gun buyers.

The deal is getting mixed reactions.

"I think if somebody wanted to do something bad enough, they're going to do it either way," said Ryan Smith.

Charles Good disagreed, saying, "I got nothing against that and if somebody does then they probably got something to hide."

For law enforcement officials the idea hits close to home.

"I think we need better checks on who gets those weapons," said Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee.

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was killed last week, and officials believe the accused shooter, Tennis Maynard, has a history of mental illness and may have gotten the gun illegally.

"I'm just worried about a mental person being able to get a weapon," said Keesee.

The deal also says that all gun sales would have to go through licensed firearm dealers who have to keep records of all those sales.

Background checks would now apply to sales made at gun shows and online sales.

Many believe there is no way to stop all illegal activity with guns, but they say it is worth the effort.

"The people that's going to rob banks, they're going to get that weapon somehow," said Keesee.

Officials would not comment on where Tennis Maynard bought his gun.

Maynard's father says his son has mental problems and has been in an institution.

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UPDATED: 4/10/2013 @ 10:50 am

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A prosecutor says a suspect in the fatal shooting of a West Virginia sheriff was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks declined to say Wednesday where 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard bought the gun. But Sparks says "it appears that the system didn't work."

Sparks also declined to elaborate on why Maynard was barred from owning a gun. But Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.

Sheriff Eugene Crum was fatally shot April 3 as he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

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UPDATED: 4/8/2013 @ 6:00pm
WILLIAMSON, W.V. (WYMT) - She says he was the protector of his community, and now murdered Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum's daughter talks about the man her father was.

Julie Hall says her father remained a tireless defender against drugs and violence until the end of his life. She says Rosie Crum, her mother and the sheriff's widow, will continue the work that he started.

As mourners gathered to pay their final respects to former Mingo County, West Virginia Sheriff Eugene Crum, his daughter Julie Hall took a few moments to share some thoughts about her dad.

"My dad was my rock," she said. "He was the very person that I could call for anything, and he always had my side."

Police say 37-year-old Tennis Maynard walked up to Crum's squad car Wednesday around noon and shot the sheriff at close range. Investigators are still working to establish a motive for Crum's killing, but his daughter says there is a "strong possibility" Crum was targeted because of his strong anti-drug stance.

"My dad fought tirelessly against drug abuse. He just wanted to clean up the county and make it a better place to live for the children that are growing up here."

Hall's mother and the late sheriff's widow Rosie Crum took the oath as Mingo County's new sheriff Thursday. Hall says she is concerned for her mother's safety, but trusts she will be protected.

"No one can be 100 percent sure of what's going to happen," Hall said. "You know everything is in God's hands, and I just know that my mom is going to do a great job for this county," as she lives by the same motto as her husband "Keep fighting the good fight."

Tennis Maynard, the man who police say assassinated eugene crum is now up and moving around at Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Maynard is charged with first degree murder and with attempted murder for allegedly aiming a weapon at the deputy.

Crum's daughter issued a plea to anyone struggling with drugs to honor her father by seeking help for their addictions.
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UPDATED: 4/8/2013

MINGO COUNTY, WV (AP) - State Police say the suspect in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is up and moving around at a Huntington hospital.

Sgt. Michael Baylous said Monday that 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard is improving daily and expected to survive the gunshot wound inflicted by a deputy who chased him after the shooting.

Crum was buried Sunday after a service in Williamson. The 59-year-old sheriff was shot to death Wednesday, three months after taking office and cracking down on the drug trade.

Authorities aren't saying much about Maynard's possible motive. The suspect's father said last week his son is mentally disturbed.

Maynard is charged with first-degree murder and with attempted murder for allegedly aiming a weapon at the deputy.

Baylous couldn't immediately say whether Maynard has hired an attorney.

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UPDATED: 4/8/2013 @ 8:30am

MINGO COUNTY, WV (WYMT) - It was a very emotional day as hundreds of officers from all across West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky came to pay their respects to Sheriff Eugene Crum and his family alongside hundreds more people from the community.

They came from all over to help remember a fellow man in uniform.

"It's a brotherhood out here. All these guys you see in uniform, the men and women, we're all out here trying to do the same job each day," said Sheriff Randall Ailiff of Wyoming County, WV.

Sunday was a day of mourning for everyone who knew Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum as people gathered to say their final goodbyes to the man they all call a fallen hero.

"My heart goes out for him and the family. I'm heartbroken. It could happen to any of us, and he was a very good sheriff. He was a good person," said Sheriff Garmon Preece of Martin County, KY.

Friends spoke of the good things he did for the community in the short time he spent as sheriff. They say he knew it was his calling.

"I just want to pay all my respects for this good man that served his county," said Preece.

They remembered the smile that never left his face and the love he had for his family and for the place he called home.

"It's no variance whether you're from Mingo County, Wyoming County, Raleigh County, wherever. We're all out here to do a job to protect the public," said Ailiff.

People lined the streets throughout Mingo County holding flags waiting to say to goodbye, and with their lights flashing a line of police cruisers miles long led their fallen hero to his final resting place.

Sheriff Crum was just 59 years old. He was married to his wife Rosie for 37 years. She was sworn in as the new Mingo County sheriff Thursday night, and many in Mingo County say they are looking forward to her carrying on the work her husband started.

UPDATED: 4/4/2013 @ 11:05pm
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT) - A community remembers a fallen sheriff.

Mingo County West Virginia Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot to death while eating lunch in his cruiser outside the county courthouse.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to show respect for Sheriff Crum and his family tonight.

It was a very emotional night. It ended on a very special note as Sheriff Crum's widow Rosie Crum was sworn in as the new sheriff.

Thursday night was a night of remembrance for many in Mingo County.

Rainy weather didn't stop people from filling the streets of downtown Williamson to remember a man who impacted the lives of everyone he met

The people of Mingo County have made a point to move forward. They plan to remember their fallen hero by letting his legacy live on.

Surrounded by candlelight, his wife Rosie was sworn in as the new sheriff.

The vigil wrapped up about nine o'clock, but everyone say that Sheriff Crum will never be forgotten in Mingo County.
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UPDATED: 4/4/2013 @ 6:04pm
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT) -- The man that police say murdered Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is being charged with first-degree murder.

During a 3 p.m. news conference, officials announced that Tennis Maynard, 37 of Ragland will be officially charged with murder once he is released from a Huntington hospital.

Maynard also faces attempted murder charges filed by West Virginia State Police in connection with the attempted murder of a Mingo County Deputy.

No information is being released at this time on the motive for the the shooting, or any mental health issues Maynard may be dealing with.

Prior to the news conference, Mingo County Commissioners announced that Sheriff Crum's widow, Rosie Crum, will take over as interim sheriff.

Visitation for Sheriff Crum will be Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of Mingo Central High School. The memorial service for Eugene Crum will be Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m., also at Mingo Central High School.
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UPDATED: 4/4/2013 @4:03pm
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - The father of the man suspected of killing a West Virginia sheriff says his son has mental health problems and doesn't have a vendetta against police.

Melvin Maynard said Thursday that his 37-year-old son, Tennis Melvin Maynard, developed mental issues after he was exposed to chemicals on a job in Alabama.

The elder Maynard would not elaborate on what kind of mental health problems his son had. But he says he believes his son would have shot the first person he saw.

Tennis Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on Wednesday in Williamson. A deputy shot Maynard in Delbarton after he crashed his car into a bridge during a chase.
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UPDATED: 4/4/2013 @ 2:51pm
WILLIAMSON, Wv (WYMT) --- Mingo County, Wv has named a new Sheriff.

Rosie Crum, the late Sheriff Eugene Crum wife, will be the new Mingo Coounty sheriff.

She says she will continue her husband's battle against the drug trade in Mingo County.
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UPDATED: 4/4/2013 @ 3:51pm
DELBARTON, W.Va. (AP) - A funeral service for Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum will be held Sunday in Delbarton.

The West Virginia Sheriff's Association says in a Facebook posting that the service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mingo Central High School. A visitation is set for 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the high school.

Chafin Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Crum was fatally shot in Williamson on Wednesday.

The suspect, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, was shot and wounded by a Mingo County deputy following a chase. State police say the deputy shot Maynard after he pulled a weapon.
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UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 10:37 a.m.

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - State Police have charged the man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on a deputy who chased and eventually shot him.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said charges for the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum will be filed separately by the Williamson Police Department.

The suspect is 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard.

He was shot in Delbarton after crashing his car into a bridge during the chase with a deputy.

Authorities say he is being treated at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, but they have not commented on his condition.

Hospital spokesman Charles Shumaker refused to comment or confirm whether Maynard was a patient Thursday, citing federal privacy laws.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 12:09 a.m.

WILLIAMSON, Wv. (WYMT) - It has been a day full of tears and disbelief as more and more people learned of Sheriff Eugene Crum's death. Members of law enforcement and others that knew him well say he leaves behind a crime and drug fighting legacy that will live on.

Sheriff Eugene Crum was sitting in his car eating lunch when a man police identify as 37-year-old Tennis Maynard ran up, shot and killed Crum.

"Our hearts are just heavy, and they will be for some time, but God will give us the resolve to get through this," said Jerry Mounts, the Williamson Fire Chief and a personal friend of Crum's.

Police later captured Maynard in Delbarton. A sheriff's deputy shot Maynard ... And he was taken to Cabell-Huntington Hospital for treatment.

Law enforcement officials held a news conference later in the day to honor their fallen comrade.

"To say that the day's events are dark or shrill doesn't even begin to illustrate the tragedy that is the loss of Sheriff Crum," Said John Hubbard, president of the Mingo County Commission.

Crum had only served as sheriff for three months and two days, but people we talked to said Crum and the Mingo County Sheriff's Department were already making a dent in the county's drug problem.

"They'll continue in a very professional manner to fight drugs and fight crime in our county, and it will be a safer place for all the good and decent people of this county to live," Mounts said.

Officials say Crum died doing what he loved, and his legacy will not soon be forgotten.

Officials have set up the Sheriff Eugene Crum Memorial Fund at Community Trust Bank. The account number is 400-314-3965.

Officials are planning to have another news conference tomorrow at 3 p.m., which we plan to carry live on WYMT, and a candlelight vigil is planned for tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

Both will be held in front of the county courthouse.
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UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 6:28 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WYMT) -- On the steps of the Mingo County Courthouse, county leaders, members of law enforcement and emergency personnel gathered to honor the leader they admired.

Sheriff Eugene Crum was murdered Wednesday afternoon while he sat in his car during a lunch break. The suspect, Tenis Maynard, shot him at point-blank range.

Mingo County Commission President John-Mark Hubbard thanked the community for the thoughts and prayers that have been pouring in from across the state of West Virginia.

One person who spoke said not only was Crum a sheriff, he was a friend, a proud husband, father and grandfather.

Commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith, who was visibly shaken by the days events said, "pray we have the courage to confront that fight (the war on drugs) in Eugene's honor."

Flags across the county are being flown at half-staff. A wreath has also been laid in honor of Sheriff Crum.

Crum's wife was out of town at the time of his shooting death. She returned to Mingo County Thursday evening.

The Mingo County Courthouse will be open for business tomorrow, (Thursday), but there will be no court proceedings.
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UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 3:50 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WYMT) – Law enforcement and emergency officials say that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot and killed.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Officials say that Sheriff Crum was on his lunch break when he got shot.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect is Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37. He is currently being treated at Cabell Huntington for a gunshot wound.

Sr. Trooper Jeff Matheny said that a witness saw Maynard fleeing the shooting scene in a pickup and got his tag number.

Matheny says a Mingo County Sheriff Deputy then tried to pull the vehicle over at the intersection of Route 65 and Rockhouse Road.

Maynard then led the deputy on a chase through parts of Delbarton before both crashed into a barrier on the Dr. JR Bob Farley Memorial Bridge.

From there, both the deputy and Maynard got out of their vehicles. At that point, Trooper Matheny says the deputy shot Maynard.

No word if Maynard was armed at the time

Also, no word on Maynard’s condition.

There will be a candlelight vigil in honor of Sheriff Eugene Crum Thursday at 8:00 pm on the front steps of the Mingo County Courthouse
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UPDATE 4/3/2013 @ 3:20pm
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WYMT) – Officials with the West Virginia Sheriff's Association sent us this statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"We are stunned and devastated at this situation. When someone walks up and shoots the chief law enforcement officer of the county it knocks you back. We are currently gathering information and waiting for more details. We are just asking everyone to please pray for Sheriff Crum's family and the law enforcement community as we sort out the information."
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UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 1:45 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WYMT) – Law enforcement and emergency officials said that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot and killed.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Officials say that Sheriff Crum was on his lunch break when he got shot.

West Virginia State Police say that the suspect was shot as he was trying to flee the scene. He has been taken to Logan Regional Medical Center. No word on his condition.

The Mingo County Tax Office said that the entire courthouse has been evacuated.

According to officials, Sheriff Crum was the only victim in the shooting.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

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ORIGINAL STORY 4/3/13 @12:38
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT) -- The Williamson Police Chief confirms that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse just after noon on Wednesday.

West Virginia State Police say that the shooter is in custody at this time.

According to officials, Sheriff Crum was the only victim in the shooting.

We have a crew headed to the scene.


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