PRINCETON – A magistrate ruled Monday that there was probable cause in the case of a Princeton man facing a charge of first-degree murder and forwarded it to the Mercer County Grand Jury.

Darrell Wesley Hazelwood, 47, of Princeton was arrested Aug. 10 after the shooting death of Tessa Hill. He was brought Monday before Magistrate Charles N. Poe for a preliminary hearing. He is being held without bond at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

During Monday's hearing, Hill's father, Larry James White of Murdock Street near Princeton, testified about a fight he witnessed outside his home involving Hazelwood, his daughter Tessa Hill, and her longtime boyfriend Ronnie Ferrell.

"When I got outside, Ronnie had (Hazelwood) down on the ground," White said. "They were tussling back and forth."

The fight moved into the street and Ferrell ended up on top of Hazelwood, White said, adding that his daughter tried to pull Ferrell off Hazelwood.

"I pulled Tessa off," White said. "I think she said, I'm not positive, 'Ronnie, you're going to hurt him...Ronnie let him up..."

White testified that Hazelwood rose after Ferrell got off him, reached into his waistband, pulled out a gun, cocked it and fired at Ferrell. Ferrell was not hit. White said Hazelwood stated, "This will teach you to double team me (expletive)," and shot Tessa Hill while she was lying in the street. She was shot once in the head.

Poe ruled there was probable cause and sent the case to the Mercer County Grand Jury. The next grand jury will meet in October.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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