Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 10, 2013

Murder suspect arraigned

PRINCETON — A Mercer County man was arraigned Monday morning on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred early Sunday in the parking lot of the Club Maximus near Princeton.

Morrisettie Leggett, 32, of Bluefield, was arraigned before Magistrate James Dent on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of 35-year-old David Andrew Bailey, of Princeton. Dent told Leggett a conviction carries a possible penalty of life in prison.

Leggett was then escorted to the nearby Mercer County Courthouse for a bond hearing before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope, who set a $50,000 bond with the condition of home confinement if released. Attorney Jay Williams, who was appointed to represent Leggett along with attorney Lynn Fuda, said his client’s family planned to post bond.

The case began at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday after Mercer County Sheriff’s Department deputies were dispatched to the Club Maximus parking lot off Courthouse Road. Deputies C.K. Lester and G.C. Paitsel developed a lead after speaking to witnesses on the scene, Sheriff D.B. “Don” Meadows said later. Several witnesses were attempting to give Bailey CPR when deputies arrived. Bailey was transported by ambulance to Princeton Community Hospital where he later died.

Detective Corporal L.B. Murphy said after the bond hearing that Leggett turned himself in to the Bluefield Police Department. Officers there contacted the sheriff’s department.

There had been an argument in the nightclub prior to the shooting, Murphy stated.

“That’s not saying it was between the victim and the accused,” he said. Bailey did return to the nightclub later than evening.

The argument’s exact cause was still being determined, but the initial investigation indicated that it was “domestic related,” Murphy said. Both men knew a woman who was “the mother of one of the individual’s babies” and had lived with Bailey for two to three years, he stated.

Bailey was shot approximately five times, but this must be confirmed by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Murphy said.

Leggett said in his statement to investigators that Bailey had moved toward him with fists up, and that he had shot Bailey, Murphy said. The weapon, a .38-caliber handgun, was recovered.

Williams told Judge Swope at the bond hearing that Leggett is a heart monitor technician at Bluefield Regional Medical Center and a disc jockey at Club Maximus. Leggett would be able to continue working at the hospital. Swope informed Leggett that conditions of home confinement would include obeying all federal and state laws, not possessing of any firearms, and having no contact with the victim’s family. Members of the Leggett family declined to comment after the bond hearing.

“It appears you completely cooperated with law enforcement,” Swope said to Leggett.

Williams said that self defense was a possibility, and pointed out Leggett had turned himself in to law enforcement authorities.

The case was still under investigation Monday, Murphy said later.

“Whether it is self defense or not will be for a jury to decide,” he stated.

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