Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 23, 2007

Manhunt suspects arraigned

TAZEWELL, Va. — Suspects in the attempted murder of a Tazewell County sheriff’s deputy were arraigned one-by-one Tuesday in Tazewell General District Court.

All four suspects were arrested Sunday in Washington County following a major manhunt that was launched after the Oct. 19 shooting of Deputy Eric Miller near Bluefield, Va. Miller was injured when he and a Bluefield, Va., police officer approached a stopped vehicle that matched the description of one seen at a pair of early morning robberies in Claypool Hill, Va., and Richlands, Va.

Sheriff H.S. Caudill said Miller was wearing a bullet-proof vest. He was hit in the right abdomen and a right hand finger, but he is now recovering at home.

Judge Jack S.Hurley arraigned each suspect one at a time. The first, Scottie Lee Stinson, 27, of Bandy, Va., was told that he faced felony counts including attempting to kill and murder a police officer with the intent to interfere with the performance of his lawful duties. This is a Class II felony carrying a penalty of 20-years to life imprisonment, Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Lee said.

A second felony, use of a firearm in an attempted murder, was included. A conviction carries a mandatory sentence of three years imprisonment, Lee said later.

Stinson was also arraigned on several bad check counts that are not related to the Oct. 19 case.

Hurley scheduled Stinson’s preliminary hearing for Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. Until that time, Hurley ordered that Stinson be held without bond at the Abingdon Regional Jail.

Wallace J. Kinder, Jr. 34, of Cedar Bluff, Va.; Roxie Amanda Short, 24, of Bishop, Va.; and Tracy Marie Coxton, 32, of Bandy, Va., were each arraigned on a count of attempted murder of a police officer with the intent to interfere with the performance of his lawful duties. All three face 20-years to life imprisonment.

Each of the four defendants requested a court-appointed attorney. Individual lawyers were assigned to each person.

Preliminary hearings for Kinder, Short and Coxton were scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 14. Until that time, all three will be held without bond at the Abingdon Regional Jail.

Lee said that additional charges may be pending for each person depending on their degree of culpability in the case.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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