NEW INFO: Man Sentenced in Quadruple Murder Case

By: WSAZ News Staff; The Associated Press Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 8/28/13 @ 7:55 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man who murdered two adults and two children will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

James Belknap was sentenced to four life terms in prison Wednesday. He was denied mercy and parole.

Belknap shot and killed Amber Martin, Steven Hendrix, and Hendrix's two young children, Dakota and Kaylee.

Police say their bodies were found stripped and left on a mountainside in Nicholas County last year.

Deputies say the murders were motivated by drug debt.

"They can't be brought back," said Amber's aunt, Dicie Hamrick. "This all happened over drugs. Everybody needs to realize that."

Belknap was sentenced in an emotional courtroom where friends and family members spoke out on the victims' behalf.

"He's sick," said Amber's father, Bruce Martin. "Anybody who would kill two little kids over a little drugs and money needs help."

Now, family members are just hoping their words can help others spare the same pain.

"People who are on drugs ... get help," Hamrick said. "Please. Before you end up in this situation."



UPDATE 8/28/13 @ 7:55 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man from Nicholas County charged with killing two adults and two children will learn his fate on Wednesday.

James Belknap pleaded guilty to four counts of murder earlier this month.

Police say Belknap shot and killed Steven Hendrix, Amber Martin and Hendrix's two young children. The victims were stripped of their clothes and then dumped down the side of a mountain in Nicholas County.

The victims' bodies were found on May 26, 2012.

Police say the murders were motivated by a drug debt.

Belknap is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/1/13 @ 9:30 a.m.
SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged with killing two adults and two children in Nicholas County has pleaded guilty to four counts of murder.

James Roy Belknap shot and killed Steven Leroy Hendix, Amber Martin and Hendrix's two young children. The victims' bodies were found on May 26, 2012. Police said the victims had been stripped and their bodies were dumped down a mountainside.

Belknap will be sentenced later this year.



UPDATE 5/23/13 @ 9:30 a.m.
SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) -- A man charged with killing two adults and two children in Nicholas County is scheduled to stand trial in August.

James Roy Belknap is being held without bond in the Central Regional Jail on four counts of first-degree murder.

The 27-year-old Leivasy resident is charged with fatally shooting Steven Leroy Hendix, Amber Martin and Hendrix's two young children. The victims' bodies were found on May 26, 2012. Police said the victims had been stripped and their bodies were dumped down a mountainside.

Belknap was arrested two days later at a police roadblock.

A criminal complaint says the shootings occurred over a drug debt.

The Associated Press reports that Belknap's trail is set for Aug. 13 in Nicholas County Circuit Court. The trial originally had been scheduled for April.



UPDATE 1/15/13 @ 11:50 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A quadruple murder case in Nicholas County is headed for trial.

Tuesday, James Belknap pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder.

Belknap is accused of shooting and killing Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and his two young children Dakota and Kaylee -- and then dumping their bodies on his property.

Two other people, Mark Haynes and Wanda Einstein are also facing charges in the case for helping Belknap after the murders.

Belknap is scheduled to be back in court for trial on April 16.



UPDATE 7/10/12 @ 11:11 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A quadruple murder case in Nicholas County is moving forward.

James Belknap waived his right to a preliminary hearing, Tuesday morning.

Belknap is accused of shooting and killing Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and his two young children Dakota and Kaylee -- and then dumping their bodies on his property.

Two other people, Mark Haynes and Wanda Einstein are also facing charges in the case for helping Belknap after the murders.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/26/12 @ 3:58 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The investigation into a quadruple murder in Nicholas County has led to another arrest.

West Virginia State Police have charged Wanda Einstein with being an accessory.

Troopers say Einstein drove James Belknap from Spruce Grove Road to his house on White Buck Knob, even though she admitted she knew he was wanted for murder.

State Police say Belknap shot and killed Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and his two children Dakota and Kaylee -- and then dumped their bodies on his property.

Belknap is in jail on four counts of murder.

State Police also arrested Mark Haynes.

Haynes was driving Belknap around when he was arrested by State Police.



UPDATE 6/13/12 @ 10:25 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of killing four people, including two young children, is set to face a judge next month.

A preliminary hearing has been set July 10 for James Belknap.

Police say Belknap shot and killed Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and Hendrix's two children, Dakota and Kaylee, and then dumped their bodies on his property in Nicholas County.



UPDATE 6/4/12 @ 10:55 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man charged in a quadruple murder in West Virginia waived his right to a speedy hearing Monday morning.

James Belknap is charged in the murders of Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin and Hendrix's two children, 6-year-old Dakota Hendrix and 4-year-old Kaylee Hendrix.

Belknap was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday, but it was continued until a later date.

All four victims were shot to death.

West Virginia State Police tells WSAZ.com they believe the crime was drug related. According to court records, Belknap owed Hendrix money for drugs "and they had been fighting about the payment."

Police say when Belknap was arrested, he was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by Mark Haynes. Haynes is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Haynes also was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday, but he waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 days.

Family members were at the courthouse Monday morning to attend the court hearings.

It’s been a living nightmare for Bruce Martin and his family. His daughter, Amber Martin, was allegedly killed at the hands of James Belknap, just over a week ago, according to police.

"It's like a living hell -- a nightmare,” Martin said. “Can't sleep, can't eat. I just hope he gets what he deserves."

Belknap is accused of killing Martin, her boyfriend Steven Hendrix and his two children, Dakota and Kaylee. Police said he shot all four of them to death and then dumped their bodies over a hillside on his property.

"You see stuff on the news like this, but you never expect it to happen to your own family," said Martin.

Martin said his daughter was a good mother to her two young kids and she and Hendrix were in love. For Hendrix’s family and friends, the past week’s been just as difficult.

"It's been up and down basically,” said Susan Bennett, a close friend of Steven Hendrix. “One minute, you know, everybody's crying. The next minute everybody's trying to think of all the good times that they had with Steve."

The family is having a tough time with the case, including the suspect.

"I guess I would just have to look at him and tell him you're a horrible monster and you deserve to die a painful death," Bennett said.

"Death penalty. He killed four innocent people and I'd like to see him get the same," Martin said.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/29/12 @ 11:15 a.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It appears drugs was the motive behind a quadruple murder in West Virginia.

James Belknap is charged in the murders of Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin and Hendrix's two children, six-year-old Dakota Hendrix, and four-year-old Kaylee Hendrix.

West Virginia State Police say Belknap was arrested Monday afternoon at a checkpoint in Nicholas County, along Brushy Creek Road. That's near the area where the bodies of the four missing people were found Saturday night.

West Virginia State Police tells WSAZ.com they believe the crime was drug related. According to court records, Belknap owed Hendrix money for drugs "and they had been fighting about the payment."

Police say when Belknap was arrested he was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by Mark Haynes. Haynes is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

The Nicholas County Prosecutor is expected to release a statement about the investigation Tuesday afternoon.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/28/12 @ 8 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two men are facing charges in connection with a quadruple murder case.

West Virginia State Police say James Belknap was arrested about 4:15 p.m. Monday at a checkpoint along Brushy Creek Road near the area where the bodies of four missing people were found Saturday night.

Police say Belknap was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by Mark Haynes, 53, of Leviasy.

Belknap is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Troopers say he killed Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin and Hendrix's two children, Dakota Hendrix, six, and Kaylee Hendrix, four.

Haynes is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Both men are being arraigned on the charges late Monday evening in Nicholas County.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/28/12 @ 5:46 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Quadruple murder suspect James Roy Belknap is no stranger to the law and he’s been accused of killing before.

On Saturday, four bodies were found deep in the woods of Nicholas County. Those bodies belonged to Steven Hendricks, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and Steven’s two young kids -- Dakota and Kaylee, ages six and four.

Police say Belknap is responsible for where those bodies ended up off of Brushy Meadow Creek Road.

In 2005, published reports say Belknap and his father, Kenneth, were indicted on murder charges by a Nicholas County grand jury.

The father and son were accused of killing Richard Barnell and then burning his body.

The killing stemmed from a drug deal and published reports say the elder Belknap denied that his son was ever involved in the murder.

Then, in 2007, James struck a plea deal where the murder charges against him were dropped and he was sent to prison for two years on drug charges.



UPDATE 5/28/12 @ 5:15 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va.(WSAZ) -- West Virginia State Police have confirmed an arrest in the quadruple murder that happened in Nicholas County.

James Roy Belknap was arrested in connection with the murder of Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and Steven’s kids, six-year old Dakota Hendrix and four-year old Kaylee Hendrix.

Police found the four bodies along Brushy Meadow Creek Road, Saturday. Since then police have been searching for the main suspect, Belknap.

Police will be holding a press conference with more details later this evening.

WSAZ.com has a crew on the way.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- Fred Amick couldn’t believe his ears when he heard that the bodies of four people were found just up the road from where he lives in Nicholas County.

"I said wow," Amick said. "Just shocked, disbelief."

He was even more speechless when he heard two of the bodies were those of young children.

"It's tragic," Amick said. "It's terrible."

On Saturday, West Virginia State Police recovered the bodies of Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, and Steven’s kids, 6-year old Dakota Hendrix and 4-year old Kaylee Hendrix, along Brushy Meadow Creek Road.

"It's a very tragic incident," Sgt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police said. "But we hope this is isolated and that there will be no other violence up in that area."

Now the search is on for James Roy Belknap.

He’s a suspect in the case and was a student of Amick’s when he was principal at Richwood Middle School.

"I had him in school years ago," Amick said. "Smart, intelligent, happy."

Amick said after Saturday’s discovery, things just don’t feel the same. He used to keep his house unlocked and his keys in his car’s ignition, but not anymore.

"It's no longer in the big cities, it's here," Amick said. "It's everywhere, unfortunately."

A disturbing crime that folks throughout the area hope police can quickly solve.



ORIGINAL STORY
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia State Police have found the bodies of four people who were reported missing out of Greenbrier County.

The bodies are believed to be Steven Hendrix, his children, four-year-old Kaylee Hendrix, six-year-old Dakota Hendrix, and Steven's girlfriend, Amber Martin.

Troopers first found Steven's vehicle and then located the four victim's bodies a short time later. They were found off of Brushy Meadow Creek Road in Nicholas County. Police say the condition of their car leads them to believe foul play is involved.

State Police are now searching for James Roy Belknap. They say he's the suspect in this case, but they're not sure where he is at this time. They believe he is in a white Ford F-150 or a Chevy Monte Carlo. If you know where he is, you're urged to call West Virginia State Police.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 154644455 - wsaz.com/a?a=154644455
Gray Television, Inc.