Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 26, 2013

Hall to plead guilty in murder

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Attorneys representing a local man facing a charge of first-degree announced Monday that he planned to enter a plea of guilty to second-degree murder.

Thomas Tyler Hall, 39, of Princeton appeared for a motions hearing before Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler. Attorney Mark Wills, who represents Hall along with attorney William Flanigan, said an agreement had been reached with the county prosecutor’s office.

Hall was arrested in early August 2012 and charged with first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy in the death of Timothy DeWitt, 41, of Princeton. DeWitt was found in March 2011 off Eads Mill Road near the Bluestone Falls area known as the gorge. Workers performing maintenance on an Interstate 77 bridge spanning the gorge saw the body and notified law enforcement authorities.

After the hearing, Wills said second-degree murder carries a penalty of 10 to 40 years.

“He’s agreed to cooperate with the state,” Wills said. “He feels bad for the family and he’s sorry he got involved in this. It’s a part of the drug culture.”

A plea hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., March 4 before Judge Sadler. Hall is currently in the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

A co-defendant in the case, Tammy Lee Keen, 39, of Princeton, later appeared before Judge Sadler for a status hearing. After speaking with her attorneys, Paul Cassell and Derrick Lefler, Sadler rescheduled Keen’s trial from March 12 to April 9.

A motions/plea hearing for Keen has been scheduled for March 29 at 1:30 p.m. Cassell said Monday that no plea agreement had been made.

Keen was arrested in August 2012 and charged with first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy in connection with DeWitt’s death. She is also at the Southern Regional Jail.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorn-ey George Sitler represented the state at both hearings.