Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 12, 2013

Mercer County man sentenced for murder and abduction

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON —  A Mercer County man who has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and abduction of a child by a family member has been sentenced to a term of life with mercy and one to five years for abduction.

Tracy Lee Atwell, 39, of Spanishburg appeared this afternoon before Mercer County Circuit Judge Derek Swope for a sentencing hearing. Atwell pleaded guilty May 23.

When the life sentence with mercy and the sentence for abduction are added together, Atwell will eligible for parole in approximately 16 years. However, Judge Swope told the victim’s family that there is no guarantee that Atwell will receive parole.

The case sparked a major search in April 2012 after Atwell murdered his wife, 33-year-old Christina Atwell and abducted his 8-year-old daughter, Porsche. The child was found safe after an extensive search.

For more about the hearing, read Thursday’s Daily Telegraph or visit