UPDATE: Mingo County Sheriff Murder Suspect in Court

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email
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Arizona Sheriff on Heightened Safety after W.Va. Incident

PHOENIX (AP) -- Security concerns have been heightened for the sheriff of Arizona's most populous county in the wake of the shooting death of a sheriff in southern West Virginia who was known for cracking down on the drug trade.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his staff expressed sadness Wednesday at what they described as the senseless slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.       

Arpaio says he's struggling to understand the recent murders of law enforcement officials in Colorado, Texas and now West Virginia. He says elected law enforcement officials across the nation seem to be targeted.    

 Arpaio himself has been the target of numerous threats, prompting the need for a security detail for the well-known sheriff. He has described himself as "America's toughest sheriff" and a national hero to conservatives on immigration issues. 

 

UPDATE 11/6/13 @ 2:55 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Tears rolled down the face of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum's widow as she stared at the man charged with killing her husband.

Tennis Maynard is accused of shooting Crum in April, as the sheriff ate lunch in his car parked in downtown Williamson.

Maynard had a video hearing Wednesday before Judge Paul T. Farrell in Cabell County. Maynard was expected to appear in court, but due to miscommunication, he was not transported from the jail, and had to appear by video conference.

When asked if he was willing to waive his trial date into the next term Maynard responded, "I guess, that's fine I guess, that's cool".

His trial has been set for March 4, 2014, in Mingo County.

Before then, Maynard will have a mental evaluation to see if he is fit for trial.

To find a fair and impartial jury in the case Judge Farrell told attorneys to prepare a questionnaire for jurors. Extra jurors will also be called in. Jury selection will take place in Mingo County.

Last month, the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office was appointed to represent the state in the trial after former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks stepped down from the case.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says with all the attention on Mingo County officials lately it could be tough seating a jury. "In any case, any juror with prior knowledge is a potential obstacle for either the prosecutor or the defendant and this case is no different and again those issues have to be flushed out." Plants said.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/15/13 @ 8:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The trial of a man accused of killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been rescheduled for March.

Tennis Maynard's trial was originally set for Dec. 9.

Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach says prosecutors believed they needed more time to review evidence and interview witnesses.

The Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office agreed to represent the state in the trial after former Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks stepped down from the case in September.

Sparks resigned last week after he was charged in federal court with conspiracy in an unrelated case.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum in April as the sheriff ate lunch in his car parked in downtown Williamson. The 38-year-old's trial is now set to begin March 2014.



UPDATE 9/24/13 @ 12 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New details have been released about the murder case of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

The Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office will now handle the case.

WSAZ.com reported last week Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks stepped down from the case citing a conflict of interest.

Police say Crum was shot and killed by Tennis Maynard back in April.

Maynard's trial is set for December.



UPDATE 9/18/13 @ 11:55 a.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Another change has been made in the murder case of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Prosecuting attorney Michael Sparks confirms he is recusing himself from the case.

In a statement to WSAZ.com, Sparks says he has recently learned information that would limit his responsibility in the case.

Crum was shot and killed on his lunch break in April.

Tennis Maynard, the suspect, was set to go on trial in December. There is no word yet if this will delay the case.

"It was a difficult decision to request a special prosecuting attorney in State of West Virginia v. Tennis Melvin Maynard. The crime occurred in my jurisdiction. The victim was a resident of my jurisdiction. I take my responsibility to prosecute crimes in my jurisdiction very seriously. However, after prayer and careful consideration of recent information and the applicable law, I determined that an emerging conflict of interest now requires my voluntary disqualification," Sparks said.

This isn't the first conflict of interest in this case. Shortly after the murder, Judge MIchael Thornsbury also stepped down, and a special judge was appointed.

This came before Thornsbury's arrest. He's now facing federal corruption charges.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/16/13 @ 9:45 a.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mingo County has a new sheriff.

During a special meeting Monday, Mingo County Commissioners appointed James Smith as the county's new sheriff. He's the department's former chief deputy.

Smith will serve the remainder of Sheriff Eugene Crum's term. Crum was shot and killed during his lunch break earlier this year.

"I know we're being judged by the actions of a few right now, but there are some good people here," Smith said. "2013 has been a bad year for Mingo County. We've got to get it turned around and get it going positive and in the right direction."

Commissioners interviewed four candidates before appointing Smith.

"Each applicant had a true plan on how to move forward in Mingo County," Commissioner John Mark Hubbard said.

Smith is expected to take the oath of office Monday afternoon.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/4/2013 @ 11:22 a.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An interim sheriff has been appointed in Mingo County.

The commission named Pam Dixon to the position at a meeting Wednesday morning. Dixon is the chief tax deputy for the department.

She will serve as interim sheriff until interviews for a permanent replacement are done, which will be completed by September 18th.

Dixon is taking over for Rosie Crum who resigned last month. Rosie says she is still trying to mourn the loss of her husband and sheriff Eugene Crum.

He was murdered while on his lunch break earlier this year.



UPDATE 8/21/2013 @ 6:22 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Mingo County Sheriff, who took office in a time of tragedy, is now stepping down in a time of political tumult.

Rosie Crum submitted her letter of resignation Wednesday, citing a need to "reflect on life" and spend more time with family.

"The sheriff's office needs a qualified person who can dedicate the time and attention it deserves to ensure public safety and confidence," she wrote.

Folks in Mingo County say the decision throws them for yet another political curveball.

"She's a really good person ... I don't think you could have gotten any better than her," Barbara Coleman said.

Others feel the decision is in the county's best interest.

"I think it's a good thing," Della Cline-Gentile said. "I don't think Rosie Crum should have been sheriff to begin with."

Crum was appointed to take her late husband Eugene's place after his murder several months ago.

Now, officials and neighbors are wondering who will take hers.

"Integrity has become a big issue, especially in light of the recent black cloud that has come over Mingo County," Prosecutor Michael Sparks said.

In her resignation letter, Crum recommended Chief Field Deputy Dave Rockel as a replacement.

She says he thoroughly knows the department and has a proven track record in the county's war against drugs.

"I just pray that I've done a good job for them to this point," Rockel said. "And if they allow me, I'll continue to do what I can."

The courthouse is now accepting open applications for the job until Sept. 4, which is Sheriff Crum's last day.

Officials say the new sheriff will be appointed at next month's county commission meeting and will serve for a little more than a year until re-election time.

They say anyone living in the county who doesn't have a felony criminal record can apply.



UPDATE 8/21/2013 @ 10:36 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Shortly after her resignation was announced, Rosie Crum spoke over the phone exclusively with WSAZ's Amanda Barren.

Over the phone Wednesday morning Crum said the decision to leave is one that is "heartfelt."

The widow of the slain sheriff, Eugene Crum, says that she has not had the time to properly grieve. She also says what is important right now is focusing on the upcoming murder trial and her children who she says, "need her badly right now."

Eugene Crum was shot and killed at point blank range in April while he was in a parking lot eating his lunch.

Tennis Maynard is accused of the murder.

Rosie Crum was appointed to the Sheriff's position shortly after her husband's murder.

Crum says that she wants someone in the sheriff's department who can "bring justice," and carry out her husbands wishes.

Crum explained that she has been under a lot of stress since the death of her husband. She says this resignation has nothing to do with the recent allegations brought forth by the family of her husband's alleged killer.

Crum says she hopes that the Mingo County Commission "makes the right choice," when appointing a new sheriff.

She is supporting Chief Field Deputy Dave Rockel. Rockel has been by Crum's side at each court hearing. He was with her in court Tuesday as a Cabell County Judge set a trial date for Maynard for the second week in December.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/21/13 @ 9:15 a.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The sheriff of Mingo County has announced her resignation.

Rosie Crum made the announcement at Wednesday morning's county commission meeting.

Rosie Crum was appointed to the position after her husband, Sheriff Eugene Crum, was murdered in April.

Her resignation will take effect on September 4th.

Crum recommends former Chief Field Deputy of Operations at the department, Dave Rockel, to take her position.

The county commission will be accepting applications for the position now through September 4th.

We have a crew at the county commission meeting.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/20/13 @ 6:55 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A status hearing in the murder case against Tennis Maynard was fairly routine Tuesday afternoon.

The judge set a trial date for the second week of December for Maynard, the man accused of killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

As he was being led out of the courtroom in a bulletproof vest and handcuffs, surrounded by a special team of law enforcement, Maynard received some words of encouragement from his brother who shouted, "I love you, man." Maynard responded with "later," and then his father offered some words of encouragement to his son.

The information, however, that Melvin Maynard announced in the hallway prior to the hearing could provide the motive in the alleged murder.

"Eugene molested him," Maynard's brother said.

When asked if that gave Maynard the right to kill the sheriff at point-blank range while he ate his lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot, he responded, "It'd give me the damn right to kill them," Maynard's father, Melvin, said.

According to Maynard's brother Tennis tried to file a police report about the abuse but it was thrown-out.

"I am not going to comment on any specifics right now," defense attorney Rich Weston said.

"It's been a very comprehensive investigation," explained Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks, "and we have investigated what would be perceived as unfavorable evidence or unfavorable allegations, as well as favorable allegations, and again the rules do not prohibit me to specifically discuss evidence or my opinions on what the evidence is."

Crum's widow, Rosie Crum, declined to comment.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/22/13 @ 10:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Prosecution evidence in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum includes the suspect's mental health records.

The Associated Press reports that Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks disclosed a list of evidence in the case against Tennis Maynard last week.

The evidence includes orders of involuntary hospitalizations from Williamson Memorial Hospital, Logan-Mingo Mental Health Clinic and Highland Hospital in Charleston.

Maynard's family has said he has mental health problems stemming from exposure to harmful chemicals and injuries while working at an Alabama mine in 2007.

The Delbarton resident is charged in state court with murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing. He also faces federal firearms charges.

Crum was fatally shot April 3 while sitting in his cruiser in downtown Williamson.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 6/25/13 @ 10:05 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man charged with the murder of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been indicted on federal gun charges.

Federal prosecutors say a federal grand jury in Charleston charged Tennis Maynard, 37, of Delbarton, W.Va with possession of a firearm by an individual who had been committed to a mental institution and making a false statement in acquisition of a firearm.

According to the 10-count indictment, Maynard allegedly made a false statement on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Form 4473 on five separate occasions.

A person must complete that form when they buy a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Making a false statement on this form is a felony.

The indictment also alleges that Maynard possessed a firearm on five separate occasions after being committed to a mental institution.

According to the indictment, Maynard bought or attempted to buy a gun on March 2010, October 2010, December 2010, November 2011, and December 2011.

A date for his arraignment on these federal charges has not been set. If convicted, Maynard faces up to 75 years in prison.

Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Crum in a downtown Williamson parking on April 3. The sheriff was eating lunch in his SUV when he was shot twice in the head.

Investigators say that after a brief vehicle chase, Maynard pulled a gun on a pursuing deputy, who then shot and wounded Maynard. Maynard was shot seven times, according to his attorney,

Maynard was released from a Huntington hospital on May 15 and arraigned on charges of murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

He is being held without bond in the Western Regional Jail. His trial on the state criminal charges is set for October in Williamson.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/17/13 @ 1:50 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Bond has been denied for the man accused of gunning down Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Tennis Maynard, 37, of Ragland, W.Va., was back in court for a hearing Monday afternoon.

Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Crum in a downtown Williamson parking lot in April. The sheriff was eating lunch in his SUV when he was shot twice in the head.

Investigators say that after a brief vehicle chase, Maynard pulled a gun on a pursuing deputy, who then shot and wounded Maynard. Maynard was shot seven times, according to his attorney,

Maynard was released from a Huntington hospital on May 15 and arraigned on charges of murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell has been appointed to handle the case. As a result, several of the hearings, including Monday’s, are taking place in Cabell County. His trial is expected to take place in Mingo County.

Maynard was brought to the courtroom under tight security on Monday. A special high-risk transport team from the Western regional jail was part of his escort.

Crum’s widow, Rosie, also attended the hearing.

“For him to deny a bond, it’s a big relief on me,” Rosie explained, “and it gave me some peace,” she explained.

Rosie says it’s tough. “I can feel him all around me, even though I have that empty chair sitting at the house.”

But she has her friends, family and strangers to thank for continued support.

Even the children who live on the same street as the newly appointed Mingo County Sheriff check on her.

She continues to follow in her husband's footsteps of a zero tolerance drug policy and plans to continue the fight. “Like my husband said, If you’re dealing drugs be looking for a knock on your door.”

Maynard's next hearing is set for Aug. 15.

In the meantime both sides continue to gather evidence.

The trial is currently scheduled Oct. 21 in Mingo County.

Maynard is being held in the Western Regional Jail. He is still receiving medical care.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/17/13 @ 11:30 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ/AP) – The man accused of gunning down the Mingo County Sheriff is asking for bail ahead of his murder trial.

Lawyers for Tennis Melvin Maynard are seeking possible release terms during a hearing Monday afternoon in Cabell County Circuit Court.

Maynard, 37, faces a possible October 21 trial date on murder and other charges in the April slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Crum in a downtown Williamson parking lot. The sheriff was eating 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 Maynard.

He was released from a Huntington hospital on May 15 and arraigned on charges of murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell has been appointed to handle the case. As a result several of the hearings are taking place in Cabell County. His trial is expected to take place in Mingo County.

Maynard is being held in the Western Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/26/13 @ 7:15 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – More than 100 bikers from around the region rode into Mingo County this weekend to take part in the “Poker Run” memorial ride in honor of Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Crum was murdered in early April while eating lunch in his car.

The ride began in Williamson and went past the spot where Crum was killed, then out into Mingo County past his grave.

“Show support [from] us bikers in the area,” Kenneth “Cooter” May, a biker, said. “You'll notice there's bikers here today from different areas, us guys from hometown."

May, a former Pike County Sheriff’s deputy, said he understands the plight of law enforcement officers when it comes to personal safety.

"When you put a badge on and you go out, it's a target, you're a target,” May said.

But May said he is grateful for Crum’s work cracking down on drugs in Mingo County.

During his 93 days in office, Crum’s department managed more than 50 drug convictions.

“Maybe God needed somebody to clean up the streets of heaven and they wanted him quick,” May said.

Rosie Crum, Eugene’s widow who was named sheriff after his murder, came to the Poker Run. While she was upbeat most of the time, she dabbed away tears with a tissue when speaking about her husband.

“I'm very saddened, I'm lost. My life has been torn upside down. But I'll get through it with the support of my friends and my families and surrounding areas that have helped me and come together and support me and my family,” Rosie Crum said.

When asked what her husband would think of the ride, she said, “He’d just be so proud. I mean, he loved his job, he loved his county, he loved his people, he loved his family most of all. [He] just wanted to make a better place for everybody to live and be happy."

May said he thinks the Mingo County Sheriff’s department is making good on Crum’s “Zero Tolerance” drug mission.

“The guys that's been here for years is carrying on his legacy of cleaning the streets of Mingo County up,” May said, adding that Rosie Crum was a good choice for the job because, after so many years of marriage, she knew the most about her husband’s mission.

Jason Thompson, who lives in Chesapeake, Ohio but grew up in Williamson, said it’s a big loss for the community.

“I know Eugene and I graduated with his daughter from high school,” Thompson said. “My wife lived next door to them growing up, everybody knows him.”

He said he sees a change in his community.

“It's like a lot more somber atmosphere, I think,” Thompson said. “Everybody's just kind of, I think, still in shock. Stuff like that really doesn't happen that often around here, so when it does it really hits hard."

The ride was originally scheduled for early May as part of Rally in the Valley, but it was delayed because of rain.



UPDATE 5/15/13 @ 1:50 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Tennis Maynard has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Maynard, 37, was released from Cabell Huntington Hospital shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday. He was then brought directly to the Cabell County Courthouse for his arraignment on first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing charges.

Sheriff Crum was shot to death April 3 while sitting in his cruiser about one block away from the courthouse.

Following the shooting, deputies and troopers chased Maynard through town, finally catching up with him on a bridge. Maynard was shot after investigators say he pointed his gun at a Mingo County deputy.

Maynard arrived in court still wearing his hospital gown. As he entered the courthouse, he told WSAZ.com he had “no comment.”

Both Sheriff Crum’s family and Maynard’s family were present for the hearing.

During the arraignment, Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Paul T. Farrell, who will be presiding over the case, denied bond for Maynard.

One thing everybody in the courtroom could agree on is that six weeks after the sheriff's murder, emotions are still very high.

"Any first-degree murder case, emotions are going to be involved on both sides of the equation," Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks said.

"It's obviously sad someone's dead. That's obvious," Rich Weston, Maynard's attorney, said. "I don't know exactly what happened yet. It's too early to get into that, but it's definitely sad that somebody lost their life."

Maynard's trial on the charges was tentatively set for Oct. 21 in Mingo County.

Maynard's next court appearance is set for June 17 in Cabell County.

Following the hearing, Maynard was booked in the Western Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/15/13 @ 1:08 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man charged with murdering Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been released from the hospital and has arrived at the Cabell County Courthouse for his arraignment.

Tennis Maynard, 37, was wearing a hospital gown as he entered the courthouse right before 1 p.m.

Maynard told WSAZ cameras he had no comment as he entered the building.

Last month, a Mingo County Grand Jury indicted Maynard on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

Sheriff Crum was shot to death while sitting in his cruiser about one block away from the courthouse on April 3.

Following the shooting, deputies and troopers chased Maynard through town, finally catching up with him on a bridge. Maynard was shot after investigators say he pointed his gun at a Mingo County Deputy.

Maynard has been in a Huntington hospital recovering from his wound since the shooting.

Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Paul T. Farrell is presiding over the case. The arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m.

Keep on clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/13/13 @ 3:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man charged with murdering Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is scheduled to be released from the hospital and then arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

Last month, a Mingo County Grand Jury indicted Tennis Maynard, 37, on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

Sheriff Crum was shot to death while sitting in his cruiser about one block away from the courthouse on April 3.

Following the shooting, deputies and troopers chased Maynard through town, finally catching up with him on a bridge. Maynard was shot after investigators say he was pointed his gun at a Mingo County Deputy.

Maynard is currently in a Huntington hospital recovering from his wound.

Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Paul T. Farrell will be presiding over the case. Officials in Judge Farrell’s office tell WSAZ.com the arraignment is set for 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.

Keep on clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/8/13 @ 12:30 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) -- A postponed motorcycle ride to honor a slain Mingo County sheriff has been rescheduled for May 26.

High winds and heavy rain forced last Sunday's event to be called off.

Organizer Paul Price of the Sidney, Ky.-based Appalachian Brotherhood riding club says the Sheriff Eugene Crum Memorial Poker Run will start at 1 p.m. May 26 at the Sycamore Inn in Williamson.

The motorcycle procession also is expected pass through Crum's hometown of Taylorville and other communities where he had worked.

Crum was fatally shot April 3 as he sat in his cruiser eating lunch in a Williamson parking lot.



UPDATE 4/22/13 @ 4 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man accused or murdering Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been indicted on murder charges.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks tells WSAZ.com that a grand jury has indicted Tennis Maynard, 37, on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing.

Judge Paul T. Farrell from Cabell County presided over the grand jury, and will preside over the entire case. According to the Sparks, Judge Farrell will continue to travel to Mingo County for all court hearings.

Sparks says Maynard is still in the hospital and an arraignment date will be set once he is released.

Sheriff Crum was murdered while sitting in his cruiser about one block away from the courthouse back on April 3.

Following the shooting, deputies and troopers chased Maynard through town -- finally catching up with him on a bridge. Maynard was shot after investigators say he was pointed his gun at a Mingo County Deputy.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/11/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man accused of murdering a sheriff is still in the hospital, but work is already underway to get him in front of a jury.

Investigators say Tennis Maynard, 37, shot and killed Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum last week.

They quickly ruled out that the motive was drug related, but still cant' say why they think he did it.

One thing they're still trying to figure out is if Maynard left his house that morning with a plan to kill the sheriff.

“We are trying to pinpoint to the best extent possible everywhere the defendant was that morning,” Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks said. “We have video evidence of him at certain places as well as receipts and so forth.”

That falls in line with what Maynard’s family says he was doing.

“He went to the grocery store that morning,” Leslie Maynard, Tennis’ brother, said.

But Tennis didn't make it home. Police say after shooting Crum, Maynard ran and tried to shoot a deputy who then shot him.

As for Maynard’s gun:

“He was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm; both by state and federal law,” Sparks said.

But he managed to slip through the system: not once -- but several times including the purchase of the murder weapon.

During multiple gun purchases, an issue that would disqualify him during background checks was delayed going through the system.

Sparks can't say what that issue was, but his family has said that he'd been hospitalized for mental health problems.

Maynard is charged with first degree murder and attempted first degree murder.

Sparks anticipates his trial happening in mid to late summer.

The trial will be in Mingo County, but because of Crum’s friendship with the circuit judge there, a judge from Cabell County will be brought in.



UPDATE 4/11/13 @ 3 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says he's investigating whether a man charged with killing the Mingo County Sheriff lied on a gun application in violation of U.S. law.

Booth Goodwin said Thursday he wants to look at the form filled out by 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, including whether he was truthful about his personal information.

Maynard is accused of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3 as he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun but wouldn't disclose why.

Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.



UPDATE 4/10/13 @ 9 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The medical condition of the man accused of murdering the Mingo County Sheriff continues to improve.

Sheriff Eugene Crum died in the shooting on Wednesday, April 3.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks tells WSAZ.com that Tennis Maynard could spend another six to 10 days in the hospital.

Maynard was shot in the liver after authorities say he fled the scene of the murder and led them on a chase.

He is a patient at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

WSAZ.com did some digging about who will pay for that time in the hospital.

"Because the arrest warrants have not been formally served," Sparks said, "the State of West Virginia via the criminal justice system is not paying for the medical bills."

Though he has not been formally arrested, Maynard has security around him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Taxpayer dollars that go toward the West Virginia State Police are paying for that security.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous says whatever funds are necessary must be dispersed within the confines of the West Virginia State Police budget.

Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas said he offered the service of his deputies.

"Guard duty at the hospital is taxing on your personnel or staff,” McComas said. "It's also very costly if you are having around-the-clock coverage to maintain custody and security for the individual’s sake, so it becomes a laborious task."

Cabell County is helping staff one shift to ease the financial burden and the workload for state police.



UPDATE 4/10/13 @ 10:15 a.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) -- Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks says the suspect in the fatal shooting of Sheriff Eugene Crum was legally prohibited from possessing a gun.

Sparks says 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard was still able to buy a gun from a local dealer, even though the dealer ran the required background check.

He says a breakdown in the reporting system enabled Maynard to purchase the gun. Sparks calls it "an inexcusable delay." He also says "it appears that the system didn't work."

Sparks also declined to elaborate on why Maynard was barred from owning a gun. But Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness

Sheriff Crum was fatally shot April 3 as he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.



UPDATE 4/8/13 @ 6:35 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been laid to rest after he was shot to death during his lunch break last Wednesday. Now, his widow Rosie is facing a new challenge: taking on her husband's old job.

Her family is supporting her in this new role, but they're just now starting to grieve as the shock wears off. Rosie Crum was sworn in just days after her husband's death and showed up for work for the first time Monday morning.

Even in this tough time, Crum's daughter Julie Hall said her mother is the best person for the job.

"There's no better person and no bigger statement than what my mom's doing," Hall said.

She said her mother will pick up where her father left off. After 37 years of marriage, she said, she knew everything about him.

"She knows him best," Hall said. "She knew what he wanted to do and how hard he had fought already."

Some have been critical of the county's choice to appoint Mrs. Crum to the position, saying that she wasn't qualified to be sheriff. Williamson Police Chief Dave Rockel, who worked closely with the late Sheriff Crum, had been expected to take on the role.

Rockel and Crum worked together on the Mingo County Sheriff's Department Drug Task Force. In the 93 days Crum was in office, the pair indicted more than 50 people on drug charges in an effort to clean up the streets of Mingo County.

Rosie Crum, unlike her husband, will not be out on the streets.

"He was a hands-on guy. And in her position, she would be administrative," Rockel, who will work closely with Mrs. Crum, explained. "I wouldn't want to get her out here and get her hurt in no shape, form or fashion."

He and other members of the department will manage individual responsibilities, while Mrs. Crum takes on more of an administrative role.

"It's not like we're just throwing her out there. She has the resources that she needs to operate," Rockel said.

In light of what happened to Eugene Crum, his family has their concerns about Rosie taking on the job, but they are still supporting her.

"My dad raised me not to run from anything, and my mom is the same way," Hall said. "We're always concerned, but there's no promise of tomorrow and that's all in God's hands."

Hall said she and her family members are grateful for the support they've gotten from the community and from people across the country.

Rosie Crum will be Mingo County's sheriff until May 2014. At that point, there could be a special election where she could run to finish out her husband's two-year term, which began in January 2013.

The man police say shot Crum, Tennis Maynard, is in the hospital after he was shot during a police chase. State police say his condition is improving. When he is released from the hospital, he'll face charges of murder and attempted murder.



UPDATE 4/7/13 @ 11:55 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was a somber service and a final farewell as slain Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was laid to rest.

Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow officers united to honer a fallen hometown hero.

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed Wednesday while eating lunch in his cruiser.

Hundreds of people packed into Mingo Central High School to pay respects. His casket was left open during a special memorial service.

Many people at Eugene Crum's funeral said he was more than just a sheriff -- he was a friend, someone who couldn't be replaced.

"This feels like a miniature 9/11 for us," Mollie Cline, who attended the funeral, said. "He was so important to this community."

Cline's words resonate with a lot of people in Mingo County. In this close-knit community, burying one of their own is difficult beyond measure.

"Devastated, I think the whole community has been shaken," Tonya Webb, who attended the funeral and worked closely with Sheriff Crum, said. "It's a tremendous loss for our community."

After Sheriff Crum's funeral, the flags remained at half staff in memory of a man people said was deeply committed to Mingo County and to the people who live there.

"I think in the time he was sheriff, he was making such an impact that it was changing lives," Adam Hall, who attended the service, said. "It was turning the drugs down, turning everything down to an decrease and not an increase."

What many will miss is Sheriff Crum's tireless work to clean up the drug problem in Mingo County.

"I'm really afraid that, after this has happened, [the drug problem] is not going to be a priority as it was before with him," Cline said.

But his work to crack down on drugs is a legacy that his colleagues and friends say they'll continue -- and many people considered him their friend.

"[In] every day life, when you see him on the street, he'd always say hello to you and be a friend," Hall said. "He was there to do his job and he done a good job while he was here."

His community is feeling a deep sense of loss, but people say they will bounce back.

During the funeral service, Sheriff Crum's widow, Rosie, was given one of her husband's badges.

The Mingo County Commission appointed her interim sheriff. She will serve in that position until 2014.

Crum's daughter, Julie Hall, said her dad just wanted to make the county a better place to live and thinks her mom help live on his legacy.

"My mother and I and my brother, we did talk about it and we did agree that my mom would be the best person to take his job," daughter Julie Hall said. "She's the one who knew him best. She knew what he wanted to accomplish and thinks she can finish the job that he started."

As the hearse made its slow trek to Sheriff Eugene Crum's final resting place, law enforcement colleagues and friends followed suit.

"It's a family, I mean you lose somebody in the family you always go to the viewing and the funeral, so it's just a family," said Deputy Bruce Johnson of the Clark County, Ohio Sheriff’s Department.

Hundreds of state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, city police, and other emergency responders said goodbye to a man who they say died serving and protecting Mingo County with tireless dedication.

"I don't worry so much about myself as it does my officers who do the day to day contacts and the investigations and respond to the various calls," said Sheriff Kenny Lemaster of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department.

"You do not know when it's going to happen, it's when it will happen. You've got to prepare yourself and it's situations like this that bring it to a reality," said Major Todd Kelley of the Ashland Police Department.

The painful reality is now setting in, knowing the danger they face everyday. Still, they put their lives on the line everyday.

"All these guys you see in uniform, the men and women, we're all out here trying to do the same job each day and it's no variance where you're from -- Mingo County, Wyoming County, Raleigh County, wherever -- we're all out here to do a job protect the public," said Chief Deputy Randall Aliff of the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department.

Even though a brother's life has come to a sudden end, they stood strong, together and united.
The man police say was behind all of the heartache is Tennis Maynard. He is in Cabell Huntington Hospital in critical condition.

Maynard was shot after police say he led them on a chase in the Delbarton area. He is expected to survive.

Williamson Police say he will be charged with first degree murder when he's released. Investigators have not named a motive in the case but they have said it's not drug related.

Maynard's family says he has suffered from mental health issues since being hurt in a mining accident several years ago.

The investigation into Crum's murder is far from over. Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/7/13 @ 3:50 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Hundreds of people came together Sunday to honor Sheriff Eugene Crum one last time.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered at Mingo Central High School for Sheriff Crum’s funeral.

Almost every speaker talked about Sheriff Crum’s love and dedication to his family and his job.

Sheriff Eugene Crum was killed Wednesday as he sat in his car eating lunch.

In his 93 days as sheriff, Crum had 57 felony convictions, that’s more convictions than the eight years prior to him taking office.

Sheriff Crum’s widow, Rosie, was presented with a badge at the funeral. Rosie Crum was announced as interim sheriff Thursday.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/6/13 @ 9:40 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Friends and community members waited patiently in line for hours Saturday evening to pay their final respects to Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was killed Wednesday as he sat in his car eating lunch.

Deputies from his department arrived just after viewing hours began at 4 p.m., bringing with them Crum's widow, Rosie. West Virginia State Police troopers also attended, as did law enforcement from across the state and even South Carolina.

"This is just a sad, sad day for us, and all Eugene's friends and everybody that knew him," Doug Estepp, who worked with Crum at the Matewan Police Department in the 1990s, said. "You can see by the crowd he was well-loved and appreciated."

The lines stretched across the parking lot of Mingo Central High School as people waited to get inside for the viewing. Those waiting said Sheriff Crum was a friend to everyone.

"He couldn't have won a sheriff's race as big as he won if he didn't have a lot of friends," Ronnie Williams, a Pike County Sheriff's Deputy, said.

His friends and colleagues remembered him as not only a good person, but someone who was making a difference in Mingo County.

"To the people that's on drugs in mingo county, you better find you another county to go to," Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden said.

Baisden last saw Sheriff Crum just fifteen minutes before he was killed. He said Crum's work cleaning up the streets of Mingo County and cracking down on drugs won't be forgotten.

"We're going to continue on his legacy," Baisden said. "What he has gotten going is going to continue on, we're gonna be right there, regardless."

Some expressed their sympathy for the slain sheriff's family and said they hoped people would pray for them to bring them through such a difficult time.

Sheriff Crum's funeral will take place on Sunday. For live coverage of the funeral and procession, keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest.



UPDATE 4/5/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As many prepare to say goodbye to the sheriff of Mingo County, we're getting a closer look at the man accused of killing him.

Police say Tennis Maynard, 37, walked up to Crum during his lunch break Wednesday and shot Sheriff Eugene Crum.

When it comes to a motive for the sheriff’s murder, even Tennis’ family says they're in the dark.

As far as they know, he hasn't had any kind of relationship with the sheriff since he was 12 years old.

However, they say Maynard isn't the same person now as he was then.

“He's a great person, but when he got blown up in the coal mines down in Alabama, his whole mindset changed. It done something to him and just made him unstable,” Tennis’ brother, Leslie Maynard, said.

That was about six years ago. Since then Leslie says things haven't been the same, and that Tennis has even been hospitalized for mental health problems.

There has been speculation that the sheriff's murder had something to do with drugs; however, Leslie says he doesn't buy that.

“He was not into no drugs,” Leslie said. “Only thing he took was his sleeping medicine.”

That leaves the question of how Tennis even knew the sheriff.

“He was his boxing coach when he was 11 or 12 years old,” Leslie said.

That was more than two decades ago. So what would cause him to pull the trigger?

“That's what I can't figure out is why he did it,” Leslie said.

This weekend, hundreds will attend Sheriff Crum’s funeral to say their final farewells and console his family.

“I know it's tough on the Crum family, but I hope they don't hold nothing against our family for what my brother did, because we can't answer for my brother,” Leslie said.

The hospital is not releasing any information about Maynard’s condition -- not even to Maynard’s family.

Maynard is being charged with the murder of Sheriff Crum, as well as with attempted murder in connection with shooting at a deputy after the murder took place.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 11:30 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A community gathered Thursday night to remember the tragic loss of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Crum was shot to death in broad daylight Wednesday while eating lunch inside his car.

Friends and family came to the courthouse to light candles and offer up prayers - honoring the man they chose to bring justice to their county.

"I can't describe it, it's just so heartbreaking," mourner Renee Osbourne said.

Arva Reynolds says her husband worked with Crum and that her family was impressed with his character since they met him.

"He was a very good and honest man," she said. "It seems like too many good people are done this way. He was only [in office] for a short amount of time, but he accomplished a lot."

Crum was known for being an aggressive and forceful presence on the war against drugs.

Mourners say they're confident his widow, Rosie Crum, will continue her husband's work as she now assumes his office.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 8 p.m.
DELBARTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- In the tiny town of Delbarton, one day after the murder of Eugene Crum, the loss, the heartache and devastation is inescapable.

"It's so sad , Jimmy Marcum said, I don't know how long it will take us to heal, It's so sad here."

Marcum was a lifelong friend of Crum, who helped him campaign to become sheriff and live out his mission to rid Mingo County of it's drug problem.

"We want to make sure it lives on," Marcum said.

At Cook's Flowers, Christy Thompson was taking orders to honor the slain sheriff before funeral arrangements were even made.

Thompson locked the shops doors as she watched the suspect in Crum's murder get stopped just a few hundreds feet from the shop.

"It's sad today," Thompson said, "It's heavy you know?"

Delbarton is the town where Sheriff Crum was once Police Chief Crum.

Not far away, about five miles up the road, is Taylorsville, where Crum and his family lived.

Allen Pope grew up with Crum. He lives two doors down from the Sheriff.

"Everybody I talked to it just took the winds out is their sails, you just can't, it don't seem real.

Every school aged child in Mingo County knew sheriff Crum from his school talks.

But the kids who were lucky enough to call him neighbor and Sheriff had got to swim in his pool, wave at him when he drove down the street, and call him a friend.

"I loved him like was my dad... When he died it hurt me," one of the young children said.

"He was good with his words, he could make you see what your life was going to be like (if you did drugs)."

"He wanted to see kids and grown ups do the right thing," another said.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Rosie Crum, the widow of slain Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was appointed his successor during an emergency meeting of the Mingo County Ccommission Thursday afternoon

Sheriff Crum was shot and killed as he sat in his car near the courthouse on his lunch break Wednesday. The man that police say murdered him, Tennis Maynard, is being charged with 1st degree murder. Maynard is also being charged with attempted murder of a Mingo County Deputy.

Many in the Sheriff's Department said they would be honored to serve under Mrs. Crum. County Commissioners said they hope her appointment as interim Sheriff will allow them to continue the zero-tolerance crackdown on drugs that Sheriff Crum began.

"We felt this was only proper,” said Mingo County Commissioner John Hubbard during a press conference Thursday. “We thought that's what the people of Mingo County would want. We feel like that's a continuance to his legacy."

"We will take our county back from the drug dealers," said Greg "Hootie" Smith, Mingo County Commissioner. "Drug enforcement will remain the priority of Mingo County."

Sheriff Crum had only been in office since November, but had already made a big dent in the drug trade with his Operation Zero Tolerance policy, which focused on cleaning up the streets of Mingo County.

"The flame that Sheriff Crum sparked will not be extinguished," Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks said in a statement Thursday. "We must now work tirelessly with a unity of purpose to build on Sheriff Crum's legacy and make the flame that Sheriff Crum sparked even brighter."

Members of the community said the sheriff was a man who followed through.

"He ran on that platform when he was elected and he made good on his promises. He started making a dent in it," Roger Fields, a longtime friend of Crum who lives in the county, said.

Others said Crum wasn't a man who played favorites when it came to cracking down on drugs.

"It didn't make any difference to him who you were," Bill Walters said. "I understand there had been friends of his [who] have been charged with drug violations."

Commissioner Smith said he hopes the state and federal government will now understand the magnitude of the drug problem and lend their support to provide inpatient drug rehabilitation.

"Don't let Sheriff Crum's death be in vain," said Smith. "He gave it all."

The commissioners didn't say whether Mrs. Crum would finish out her husband's term or if a special election would be held before that time.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 3:48 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man that police say murdered Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is being charged with first-degree murder.

During a 3 p.m. news conference, officials announced that Tennis Maynard, 37, of Ragland will be officially charged with murder once he is released from a Huntington hospital.

Maynard also faces attempted murder charges filed by West Virginia State Police in connection with the attempted murder of a Mingo County Deputy.

No information is being released at this time on the motive for the the shooting, or any mental health issues Maynard may be dealing with.

"We don't want to focus on any one particular motive,” Commander David Rockel with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department said. “All the evidence collectively will suggest what the motive was.”

Prior to the news conference, Mingo County Commissioners announced that Sheriff Crum's widow, Rosie Crum, will take over as interim sheriff.

Visitation for Sheriff Crum will be Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of Mingo Central High School. The memorial service for Eugene Crum will be Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m., also at Mingo Central High School.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 2:25 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Mingo County Commission has named the widow of Sheriff Eugene Crum Interim Sheriff.

During a special meeting Thursday afternoon, commissioners announced that Rosie Crum will take over her husband's job after he was gunned down while on his lunch break Wednesday afternoon.

Commissioners says the majority of those in the Sheriff's Office say they would be honored to serve under Mrs. Crum.

Commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith says although one of the fighting forces against drug abuse in the county has been killed, they are not giving up the fight.

"We will take our county back from the drug dealers," Smith said.

A press conference will be held at 3 p.m. in Mingo County for the latest on the case.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/4/13
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) -- The father of the man suspected of killing a West Virginia sheriff says his son has mental health problems and doesn't have a vendetta against police.

Melvin Maynard said Thursday that his 37-year-old son, Tennis Melvin Maynard, developed mental issues after he was exposed to chemicals on a job in Alabama.

The elder Maynard would not elaborate on what kind of mental health problems his son had. But he says he believes his son would have shot the first person he saw.

Tennis Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on Wednesday in Williamson. A deputy shot Maynard in Delbarton after he crashed his car into a bridge during a chase.

State Police have charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on the deputy.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 12:20 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Funeral arrangements have been set for slain Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

WSAZ.com has learned visitation will be Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of Mingo Central High School.

That venue was chosen because of it's large seating capacity. The auditorium can seat 2,500 people.

The memorial service for Eugene Crum will be Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m., also at Mingo Central High School.



UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 10:30 a.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man police say is responsible for the murder of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is now facing attempted murder charges for shooting at a Mingo County Deputy.

According to a release from West Virginia State Police, warrants have been issued for Tennis Maynard in connection with the attempted murder of a Mingo County Deputy.

The Williamson Police Department will be responsible for any charges related to the shooting of Sheriff Crum.

According to the release, it is believed that Maynard will survive his injuries.

Maynard was shot multiple times after shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. No other details about his injuries are being released at this time.

According to the release, a Glock .40 caliber was recovered by investigators at the Delbarton scene which they believe was used in the shooting of Sheriff Crum.

WSAZ.com checked into the past of Maynard. According to court records, Maynard has no criminal history. The only thing that could be found in Maynard's file was a seatbelt violation from 10 years ago for which he paid $5.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 11 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There are nearly 27,000 people in Mingo County, and friends of the late Sheriff Eugene Crum said he wanted to serve and protect each one of them.

"His thing about doing his job was trying to clean up the drug habits, the drug dealing and all that in this community," said Jerry Cline, who has known Sheriff Crum for the last five years.

Crum, 59, was murdered Wednesday as he sat in his car during a lunch break. The suspect, 37-year-old Tennis Maynard, is accused of shooting Sheriff Crum at point-blank range.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets -- about noon Wednesday.

"He was very friendly -- more like, somebody you can look up to," Williamson resident Anna Smith said.

And people will never forget where they were when news spread of Wednesday’s tragedy -- news that has reverberated throughout the nation.

"It was just unbelievable, we hear about things that happen in other towns and it goes back to the same thing you always think: it won't happen where I live. But to hear it, I was very shocked today. We couldn't believe what had happened," Mingo County resident Chris Dotson said.

"Oh God, it was just devastating because he really was trying to do something good for the community," said Donna Daniels, whose family members were close friends with Sheriff Crum.

A memorial service is set for 8 p.m. Thursday at the Mingo County Courthouse in Williamson.

As for the fate of alleged shooter Tennis Maynard, who was shot before he was apprehended, community reaction was swift.

"Same thing anybody wants: justice," Dotson said.

"This person ought to be penalized," Cline said. "This person ought to be put away for life and never get back out."

Cline went on to say, "This is the price of people trying to do things good -- it's very sad."

Likewise, the law enforcement community -- both near and far -- shares a heavy heart.

The West Virginia law enforcement community was struck by grief after losing another one of their own in the line of duty.

“We take it personally when someone harms one of our own,” Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas said.

McComas is president of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association. He says the shooting death of Crum is a grim reminder of what all officers face daily when they leave their homes.

“You never think about it, you never talk about it with your family,” he said. “You never think something’s going to happen, but it’s always in the back of your minds.”

Although the loss is felt by officers everywhere, the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department is hit hardest of all -- losing not only their brother-in-duty but also their leader.

West Virginia State Police say they’re working to step in and help, taking some of the burden from their fellow officers.

“We’re working on a plan to bring more troopers down here as needed while the Sheriff’s Department deals with their grief,” West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said.

McComas says the Sheriffs’ Association has heard from departments all across West Virginia Wednesday, as well as some from Ohio.

He says the association also is working to offer their services and support to Mingo County.

As of Wednesday night, the shooting suspect Tennis Maynard was listed in critical condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital. He is being heavily guarded by West Virginia State Police troopers.

Maynard lived in Ragland with his father Melvin, who talked with WSAZ.com Wednesday evening.

Melvin says his son has had mental health problems for a few years after he was in a work-related accident in Alabama where he was exposed to dangerous chemicals.

Melvin says he's heartbroken for the sheriff's family and never imagined his son would do something violent, much less something this horrible.

The father says he wishes he'd done something before this tragedy to get his son help he obviously needed.

Donna Daniels went to Birch High School with Maynard. She says back then he was just a normal, funny, outgoing guy.

"I've never known him to have any trouble,” Daniels said. “This really took me by surprise because I would have never expected that in a million years."

There’s no word yet on whether Maynard has a criminal history.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 9:15 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- On the steps of the Mingo County Courthouse, county leaders, members of law enforcement and emergency personnel gathered to honor the leader they admired.

Sheriff Eugene Crum, 59, was murdered Wednesday afternoon as he sat in his car during a lunch break. The suspect, Tennis Maynard, allegedly shot him at point-blank range.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Mingo County Commission President John-Mark Hubbard thanked the community for the thoughts and prayers that have been pouring in from across the state of West Virginia.

One person who spoke said not only was Crum a sheriff, he was a friend, a proud husband, father and grandfather.

Commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith, who was visibly shaken by the days events said, "pray we have the courage to confront that fight (the war on drugs) in Eugene's honor."

Flags across the county are being flown at half-staff. A wreath has also been laid in honor of Sheriff Crum.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., issued the following statement:

“Gayle and I join all West Virginians in praying for Sheriff Crum’s wife, Rosie, and his family. Mingo County lost a longtime public servant today and our hearts are broken from this horrific tragedy. My friend Sheriff Crum dedicated his life to serving the people of Mingo County and making southern West Virginia a safer place. He will be dearly missed. In memory of Sheriff Crum, let us never forget that our law enforcement and first responders selflessly put their lives on the line for West Virginians every day. We ask that all West Virginians keep Sheriff Crum’s family and friends in their thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.”

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va, issued the following statement:

“Today, our hearts go out to Sheriff Crum’s wife, Rosie, his entire family, the staff of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, and his countless friends all across the area. Dedicated law enforcement officers throughout our Nation mourn the loss of one of their own. Though Sheriff Crum had just begun his term, he was not new to the cause of justice, and, from day one as Sheriff, he hit the ground running with vigor and determination. Eugene’s dedication to fairness and a full measure of justice for all is well known. Every law-abiding citizen demands justice for this tragedy that has shaken our sense of decency, but not our resolve, to maintain law and order. In the coming days, I ask that we continue to remember Rosie and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Crum's wife was out of town at the time of his shooting death. She returned to Mingo County Wednesday evening.

The Mingo County Courthouse will be open for business Thursday, but there will be no court proceedings.

Maynard, the shooting suspect, was listed in critical condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital, according to the director of Mingo County Emergency Management.

West Virginia State Police tell WSAZ.com that Maynard made it out of surgery later Wednesday night and remained in critical condition. They say he was shot more than once after pointing a gun at a deputy, but unable to fire a shot.

Maynard is being heavily guarded at the hospital by state police troopers.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 3:50 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Law enforcement and emergency officials tell WSAZ.com that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot and killed.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Officials tell WSAZ.com that Sheriff Crum was on his lunch break when he got shot.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect is Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37. He is currently being treated at Cabell Huntington Hospital for a gunshot wound.

Sr. Trooper Jeff Matheny tells WSAZ.com that a witness saw Maynard fleeing the shooting scene in a pickup and got his tag number.

Matheny says a Mingo County Sheriff Deputy then tried to pull the vehicle over at the intersection of Route 65 and Rockhouse Road.

Maynard then led the deputy on a chase through parts of Delbarton before both crashed into a barrier on the Dr. JR Bob Farley Memorial Bridge.

From there, both the deputy and Maynard got out of their vehicles. At that point, Trooper Matheny says the deputy shot Maynard.

There is no word if Maynard was armed at the time

Also, there's no word on Maynard’s condition.

There will be a candlelight vigil in honor of Sheriff Eugene Crum at 8 p.m. Thursday on the front steps of the Mingo County Courthouse

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/3/13 @ 1:45 p.m.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Law enforcement and emergency officials tell WSAZ.com that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot and killed.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse near the corner of 3rd and Harvey Streets about noon on Wednesday.

Officials tell WSAZ.com that Sheriff Crum was on his lunch break when he was shot.

West Virginia State Police tell WSAZ.com that the suspect was shot as he was trying to flee the scene. He has been taken to Logan Regional Medical Center. No word on his condition.

The Mingo County Tax Office tells WSAZ.com that the entire courthouse has been evacuated.

According to officials, Sheriff Crum was the only victim in the shooting.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/3/13 @ 12:38 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Williamson Police Chief confirms that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot.

The shooting happened about one block from the Mingo County Courthouse just after noon on Wednesday.

West Virginia State Police tell WSAZ.com that the shooter is in custody at this time.

The Mingo County Tax Office tells WSAZ.com that the entire courthouse has been evacuated.

According to officials, Sheriff Crum was the only victim in the shooting.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


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