UPDATE: Murder Charges Dropped In Drive-By Shooting Case

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 12/17/12 @ 3 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two years after a deadly drive-by shooting, prosecutors dropped murder charges against the suspect.

Monday, Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says the case against David Kinney has been dismissed.

Several pieces of key evidence had been thrown out of court, forcing prosecutors to drop all charges.

Two weeks ago, Judge Carrie Webster ruled that surveillance video taken near the scene of the crime, as well as expert testimony about gun shell casings collected by police, cannot be used in court.

Kinney was accused of shooting and killing Jeremy Parsons, back in 2010.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/10/12 @ 11:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A murder case two years in the making may never even make it to trial.

"Now we have to go back to the drawing board and see if we have enough evidence to move forward," Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants said.

David Kinney is charged with the shooting death of Jeremy Parsons on Charleston's West Side in 2010.

Last week, Judge Carrie Webster ruled that surveillance video taken near the scene of the crime, as well as expert testimony about gun shell casings collected by police, cannot be used in court.

Webster told WSAZ.com the ruling on the testimony is a sanction after the shell cases had been mixed up in police labs, causing months of delay.

"It's about accountability," she said. "Considering the gross mishandling of evidence by the state, the sanction is appropriate."

Prosecutors say the ruling is frustrating in a case where evidence is extremely valuable and witnesses are uncooperative.

Webster says she could not speak about why the surveillance video was thrown out. Prosecutors say it was related to questions of authenticity.

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UPDATE 8/23/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than two years after a brutal murder in Charleston, the case is still not moving forward.

Jeremy Parsons was shot and killed inside a car on July 4, 2010.

David Kinney was arrested that October.

But after a series of evidence mishaps, the case has yet to go to trial.

Thursday’s motions hearing was about that evidence, yet again.

Even the judge described the proceedings as a marathon.

And after nearly four hours in the courtroom, both sides decided not to set a trial date.

In large part, because of looming questions over how key evidence in the case was handled.

Shell casings that were collected at the crime scene were checked in to the state police crime lab but couldn't be found for months.

It turns out there was a mix up over whose name they were filed under: the victim's or the suspect's.

For a while, both sides thought the evidence was lost. The state even filed a notice to the court saying so. Then, those shell casings resurfaced.

Frustrated with how the case was handled, Judge Carrie Webster threw the evidence out earlier this year. The state supreme court later said that was too severe a sanction.

So Thursday, testimony was heard about exactly what happened while the evidence was unaccounted for.

All that evidence that was in question is now being re-tested by the defense.

They say they may have more motions to add once they get the results back from that.

The next hearing in the case will be September 20th.



UPDATE 6/12/12 @ 5:40 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A key piece of evidence will be allowed in a Charleston murder case.

The State Supreme Court ruled Tuesday afternoon that prosecutors can use shell casings in the murder case against David Kinney. The casings had been thrown out as evidence by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Prosecutors originally thought the shell casings collected at the scene were lost during testing, but they were later found at the State Police Crime Lab. The problem was the casings were labeled under the victim's name rather than Kinney's.

Kinney is accused of shooting Jeremy Parsons to death on July 4, 2010. Parsons was driving down Virginia Street when police say Kinney shot into his car.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/30/12 @ 10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A murder case that's nearly two years old is now before the West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals.

David Kinney is accused of shooting Jeremy Parsons to death on July 4, 2010. Parsons was driving down Virginia Street when police say Kinney shot into his car.

Now there's a question over a key piece of evidence that has landed the case before the high court. Justices are asked to decide whether Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster abused her power when ruling on that key piece of evidence.

The arguments unfolded Wednesday morning beginning with Assistant County Prosecutor Erica Lord. She told the Supreme Court that without the dozens of shell casing being entered as evidence, their case would be ruined.

"I think she (circuit judge) completely gutted our case, issued a de facto dismissal," Lord said. "That is a complete abuse of discretion when there are other means that she could have sanctioned the state for this time period."

Prosecutors originally thought the shell casings collected at the scene were lost during testing, but they were later found at the State Police Crime Lab. The problem was the casings were labeled under the victim's name rather than Kinney's.

Webster ruled against having that evidence be used in trial, saying the state was trying to delay the case from moving to trial.

"This court denied a continuance over the defendants," Webster said then. "Because I wanted this case moving because I wasn't going to give him bond."

Kinney's attorney Olubunmi Kusimo told the court Webster made the right decision because the state had continued the case three times.

"His absolute right to a speedy trial has been violated by the state's complete failure to provide discovery," Kusimo said. "Every time the case was continued, it was continued because the state did not provide evidence that the defendant was actively seeking."

Prosecutors defended themselves, saying Kinney waived his right to a speedy trial.

Now it's up to the high court to clear the path for justice.

The Supreme Court will have time to review the arguments and the case before making a ruling.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/30/10 @ 1 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused in a murder on Charleston's West Side was back in court Monday.

David Kinney's trial was suppose to start Monday, but it was postponed because the defense just received the evidence prosecutors had collected in the case last month.

Kinney is accused of shooting Jeremy Parsons back on July 4, while he was driving along Virginia Street.

Kinny's bond was set at $250,000. If he posts bail he will have to stay on home confinement.

His trial has been set for April 4.



UPDATE 10/27/10 @ 8:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The suspect in a deadly shooting on Charleston's West Side was arraigned Wednesday.

David Kinney was arrested last week after he was indicted for murder.

Kinney allegedly shot Jeremy Parsons as he was driving along Virginia Street on July 4. Parsons was shot in the arm and the head.

Maryclaire Akers, Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor, says that police have video of Kinney just feet away from the shooting after it happened. She says they also have an eyewitness to the shooting.

Kinney's attorney asked for a bond to be set, but the judge denied that request.

His defense also made another request, which he admitted was odd, for Kinney to have the right to vote.

While Kinney is not a convicted criminal, the judge said that it would be too costly and unsafe for Kinney to vote with the general public.

The victim's family was shocked by Kinney's request.

"How does he even have the audacity to ask? You walk up to his face and you shoot him in the head and now you want to go vote?," said Lena Glover, Jeremy's aunt.

Lynne Parsons, Jeremy's mother, says she is very thankful that the Charleston Police Detectives never gave up on solving her son's murder.

She says justice has not yet been served.

"I pray he never gets out of prison. I will never have my son back. I'm sorry, but his family should never have their son back. I know that's bad. I just hope God forgives me for the way I feel," Parsons said.

Kinney's trial will be sometime in January.



UPDATE 10/22/10 @ 9:16 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police have arrested the man they believe killed Jeremy Parsons on Independence Day.

David W. Kinney, 32, of Charleston, was arrested Friday at 5:30 p.m. -- charged with Parsons' murder.

Parsons was killed July 4. Family told WSAZ.com he was shot three times -- including once in the neck and once between the eyes.

It happened in Charleston at the intersection of Park Avenue and Virginia Street.

Kinney is being held in the South Central Regional Jail.



UPDATE 7/04/10 @ 10:55 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police Officers are investigating a Fourth of July murder.

Family tell WSAZ.com Jeremy Parsons was killed Sunday afternoon after being shot while driving his car.

At a small press conference Sunday night, police said they have no suspects at this time.

According to officers, Parsons was shot once between the eyes and twice in his left forearm.

Police say there is no evidence at this time that the shooting was a drive-by, but they are investigating the possibility.

If you have any information, police ask that you give them a call.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 07/04/10 @ 9:15
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An 11-year-old girl is making a plea, after her father was shot to death in his own car.

Jeremy Parsons' family tells WSAZ.com he was shot three times, including once in the neck and once between the eyes.

Kanawha County Dispatchers say Parsons was driving at the time and crashed his vehicle into a concrete barrier after being shot. Family members say he died on the scene.

The shooting happened just after 4:30 Sunday afternoon in Charleston, near the intersection of Park Avenue and Virginia Street.

Parson's 11-year-old daughter is now asking for answers. She contacted WSAZ.com to reach out to the community. She wants the person who killed her father to come forward and tell her why they took her father's life.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 07/04/10 @ 5:11 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Emergency crews are on the scene of what looks to be a drive-by shooting in Charleston.

Dispatchers say it happened about 4:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Park Avenue and Virginia Street.

Dispatchers say one person was shot, but appeared to be alert when EMS got to the scene.

The victim was driving at the time of the shooting. After being shot, the victim wrecked their car.

Dispatchers say initial reports from the scene indicate that this was a drive-by shooting.

Right now, police are in the process of questioning witnesses.

Names and conditions have not been released.

WSAZ.com has a crew on the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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