Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 20, 2014

McDowell grand jury returns 72 indictments

WELCH — The February session of the McDowell County grand jury resulted in the return of 72 indictments including three indictments for murder in the first degree, at least one indictment for attempted murder as well as other charges.

The grand jury named Chayna Eskins, 20, of Welch, on one count of murder in the first degree, one count of delivery of a schedule III controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Eskins was incarcerated at Southwest Regional Jail on the possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute when she was arrested on Oct. 16, 2013, on the first-degree murder charge involving the Dec. 15, 2012, drug overdose death of her husband, Samuel Lee Saunders.

The grand jury also returned a first-degree murder indictment naming Wesley Owen Payne, 55 of War. Payne was indicted for the May 20, 2013 shooting death of Donald Lee Baker, 52, of Avondale. Investigators alleged that the shooting took place following a domestic-related argument.

No details were available related an indictment naming a 24-year-old Iaeger man on charges on one count of first degree child abuse resulting in death and one count of child neglect resulting in death.

The grand jury returned an indictment naming Halsey Collins, 44, of Hensley, on one count of attempted murder, three counts of unlawful wounding, one count of reckless driving causing bodily injury and one count of disorderly conduct. The charges stem from a June 4, 2013 incident in Big Sandy Bottom that started with a physical altercation that escalated into the alleged use of a vehicle to run over a victim.

A complete list of the indictments will appear in a future edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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