PRINCETON — A circuit court judge ordered Friday that two men - one of them with a possible gang affiliation - be held without bond after being arraigned on charges of felony first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy relating to the December 2019 shooting death of a man in Brushfork.
Deliezha Gravely, who was being held at the Southern Regional Jail on a probation violation until a warrant was served on him Friday, and Deron Yarrell, who was transported back to West Virginia after being apprehended in Detroit, were first brought before Magistrate Sandra Dorsey for arraignment.
After arraignment, Yarrell and Gravely were taken before Circuit Court Judge Mark Wills for a bond hearing. Wills ordered that both men be held without bond and remanded them to the regional jail.
A third suspect, Kaleb Jordan Merritt, 23, of Mercer County was arraigned Thursday before Judge Wills on the same charges as Gravely and Yarrell. Detective Cpl. M.S. Horn of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the case’s investigating officer, said Merritt was arrested Wednesday in Bluefield after an officer with the Bluefield Police Department pulled him over for a seat belt violation. A K-9 was called to the scene, and a Springfield XD .40-caliber pistol was found.
Horn said the pistol found with Merritt could possibly be the murder weapon.
All three men and a third person, Andrea Paige Fry, 20, of Bluefield, are suspects in the Dec. 22, 2019 death of Edward Earl Duck III. The case began when deputies with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department found Duck in a car parked outside a Brushfork Road home when they answered a complaint from a male individual stating he had been shot. Duck, who had been shot once, later died at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.
Merritt and Fry are being held at the Southern Regional Jail.
Horn said in his criminal complaint that Merritt and Gravely belonged to the Dirty Money Gang that operates in the Bluefield area to sell controlled substances.
About 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine was found in the Brushfork Road house where Duck was staying, Horn said.
Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said the incident appeared to be a plan to steal money and the methamphetamine.
“This is apparently a part of the Dirty Money Gang’s scheme to take over drug dealing in this particular area of southern West Virginia,” Sitler said after the bond hearing.
Sitler thanked the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force for their assistance during the investigation. Horn was assisted in the investigation by Detective Sgt. Steven Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.
Sitler said the case probably would not go before the February 2020 Mercer County Grand Jury because forensic testing still needed to be done.
The Beckley Police Department provided assistance when Fry was apprehended in Raleigh County, Horn said.
— Contact Greg Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org