Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 19, 2013

More evidence in W.Va. sheriff slaying disclosed


Associated Press

CHARLESTON —  A sexual assault investigation that occurred more than a decade ago could be part of the prosecution’s evidence in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

West Virginia State Police investigated allegations that Crum sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in 2001 when he was Delbarton’s police chief. A 2002 state police report on the investigation concluded that the sex was consensual. No charges were filed, said the Sunday Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/12eRijv ), which obtained the report.

The report is included on a list of potential evidence filed by Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks in July, the newspaper reported Sunday.

Other potential evidence includes the mental health records of Tennis Maynard, who is charged in state court with murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing. He also faces federal firearms charges.

Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Crum on April in downtown Williamson as the sheriff ate lunch in his police cruiser. Investigators say that after a brief vehicle chase, Maynard pulled a gun on a pursuing deputy who then shot and wounded the suspect.

Sparks told the newspaper that he couldn’t discuss potential evidence. But he said that including the police report in the prosecution would make more sense during Maynard’s trial.

Maynard’s attorney, Richard Weston, said the police report is in line with Maynard’s defense. He wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t divulge any client-attorney communication,” Weston told the newspaper. “I can say the allegations support the general nature of our defense, which involves the history between (Maynard) and the sheriff.”

Crum had given Maynard boxing lessons at the Delbarton Boxing Club when the suspect was a teenager.

Crum told state police during the sexual assault investigation that he did not force sexual activity upon the woman. The woman went to Williamson Memorial Hospital later that morning and reported a sexual assault. She later sent a letter to state police saying that she did not wish to pursue the allegations further, the newspaper said, citing the state police report.

Crum, 59, had been a Mingo County magistrate for more than a decade when he stepped down to run successfully for sheriff in 2012.

Maynard’s trial is set for Oct. 21.