Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 18, 2013

Bond denied in Mercer County for father and son charged with murder


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope denied bond today for both a father and son facing charges of first-degree murder in the death of a Summers County man.

Both Oscar Combs Sr., 44, of Bud, and Oscar Combs Jr.,  21, of Herndon, appeared in separate bond hearings in Mercer County Circuit Court. Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said the state objected to bond in both cases due to the seriousness of the charge, and the possibility of both men being a flight risk.

James “Bo” Butler, 55, was shot execution-style in the back of his head, according to the complaint, filed by West Virginia State Police Cpl. A.S. Reed of the Hinton detachment.

His body was discovered two or three weeks later in Wyoming County.

Police arrested the father and son — Combs Sr., and Combs Jr. — last week in connection with Butler’s death.

According to the complaint, Combs Sr. and Butler had worked together in Wyoming County in the past. Butler still worked at the same company. Oscar Combs Jr later appeared for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate James Dent. Dent ruled there was probable cause and sent the case to the Mercer County grand jury.

During the hearing, Corp. A.S. Reed, of the West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment, testified that both Oscar Combs Sr. and Oscar Combs Jr. gave conflicting statements about who shot Butler.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis said Combs Jr gave a second statement that he was the shooter, but that he was under under duress at the time.