Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 14, 2013

Grand Jury indicts Cook for murder

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — A first-degree murder indictment was among the cases listed on the latest series of cases considered by the Tazewell County Grand Jury.

Willard Rell Cook, 35, of Cedar Bluff, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder. Cook was arrested after the Nov. 29, 2012 death of Timothy Wade Mitchell Sr., 54, also of Cedar Bluff.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Dennis Lee said Friday that an autopsy presented on July 12 during a preliminary hearing indicated that Mitchell died from a combination of head trauma as well as acute alcohol poisoning.

“There was testimony that the defendant, Mr. Cook, got into an altercation with the victim, who was rendered unconscious,” Lee said. “And while Mr. Mitchell was unconscious, Mr. Cook proceeded to strike him multiple times in the head while he was unconscious and defenseless.”

Cook allegedly beat Mitchell with his fists, Lee said. There is no indication that he used a weapon. The incident happened at an abandoned home in the Bandy area of Tazewell County.

Cook has been incarcerated in a Tazewell County Jail since his arrest.

The Tazewell County Grand Jury handed down approximately 45 indictments during its September term. Charges ranged from possession and distribution of controlled substances to credit card fraud and threat to burn a home.