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UPDATE: Man Sentenced in Cinder Block Death

By: Tim Irr; Josh McComas Email
By: Tim Irr; Josh McComas Email

UPDATE 5/21/13 @ 10:50 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Huntington man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the death another man was sentenced Tuesday morning.

Last week, 25-year-old Shane McCaffrey pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the cinder block death of 49-year-old Howard LeMaster.

In August 2012, McCaffrey and his brother got into what was police described as drunken brawl at a home on Adams Avenue. They said LeMaster, a longtime friend, tried to break up the fight. During the scuffle, LeMaster was hit in the head with a concrete block thrown by McCaffrey.

Tuesday morning, McCaffrey was sentenced to 12 months in the Western Regional Jail with credit for time served. Before being sentenced, McCaffrey apologized to LeMaster’s family, saying he was drunk and it wasn't supposed to happen.

LeMaster's daughter Ashley also spoke to the court.

"He was my dad. He was a loving, wonderful man. You guys can put it any way that you want, but Shane did murder my dad," said Ashley.

Ashley said this has torn her family apart. She says her 15-year-old sister is not the same, her two-year-old daughter will not grow up to know her grandpa, and they have to make her mom get out of bed.

Ashley told the court that her dad did not drink, and if he did, he only had a couple of beers.

"A lot of the story to me is made up and I'm not saying that because it's my dad. But I know Shane's past and I know his story and I know my father's past and history," said Ashley.

The prosecutor's office did not have a copy of the autopsy report to show if there was alcohol in LeMaster's system.

At the time of the incident, McCaffrey was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. That charge was increased to murder when LeMaster died

In January 2013, a Cabell County Grand Jury reduced the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter.

Judge Al Ferguson said a 12-month sentence is the maximum that could be handed down for this charge.

"I'm sorry that it happened. If I could turn back time, I would, but that's all we can do in this case," said Ferguson.

McCaffrey was granted time served. According to jail records, he has served nine months behind bars, meaning he will have three months left to serve.



UPDATE 5/14/13 @ 1:20 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Huntington man charged with killing another man with a cinder block has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter.

25-year-old Shane McCaffrey entered the plea to the reduced charge during a hearing in Cabell County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Police said in August, McCaffrey and his brother got into what was described as drunken brawl at a home on Adams Avenue. That's when police said their longtime friend, Howard LeMaster, 49, tried to jump in a break up the fight. During the scuffle, LeMaster was hit in the head with a concrete block, allegedly thrown by McCaffrey.

At the time of the incident, McCaffrey was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. That charge was increased to murder when LeMaster died

In January, a Cabell County Grand Jury reduced the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter.

McCaffrey will be sentenced on the involuntary manslaughter plea next Tuesday. He is expected to receive a one-year jail sentence.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/23/13 @ 6:10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A grand jury has downgraded the murder charge against a Huntington man charged with killing another man with a stone block.

Police said in August, 25-year-old Shane McCaffrey and his brother got into what was described as a drunken brawl at a home on Adams Avenue. That's when police said their longtime friend, Howard LeMaster, 49, tried to jump in a break up the fight. During the scuffle, LeMaster was hit in the head with a concrete block allegedly thrown by McCaffrey.

At the time of the incident, McCaffrey was arrested charged with malicious wounding. That charged was increased to murder when LeMaster died.

On Wednesday, a Cabell County Grand Jury indicted McCaffrey for voluntary manslaughter in the connection with LeMaster’s death.

LeMaster is being arraigned on the reduced charge Thursday morning.



UPDATE 9/4/12 @ 8:05 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Murder or self-defense? It's now up to a grand jury to decide after a drunken fight between two brothers led to the death of a family friend.

While the defendant says he was trying to protect himself, the prosecution says there were other options.

“So, there were four bottles of 80-proof alcohol being consumed by the group?” the defense attorney asked during a hearing in Cabell County Magistrate Court.

“Yes,” replied Patrick McCaffrey, who is defendant Shane McCaffrey’s brother.

Testimony shows a lot of alcohol was consumed at the Aug. 20 get-together among family and friends.

“Mr. (Shane) McCaffrey said he had drank about half a pint of whiskey,” Huntington Police Detective Lt. John Williams said.

But, what is up for debate is whether Howard LeMaster had to die. Police say it all started when defendant Shane McCaffrey showed up at a gathering with Lemaster, Patrick McCaffrey and Shane McCaffrey’s wife, Amanda. The group had already been drinking.

“He knew he was going into a place where he had altercations with his brother before,” Williams said. “He knew he was drinking. He could have left. The gate was open. He wasn't impeded.”

The brothers got into a drunken brawl -- fists flying. That's when their longtime friend, LeMaster, got involved -- trying to break up the fight.

“He had the sledgehammer up,” Amanda said.

“Was there anything to prevent the defendant from running prior to throwing the brick?” the assistant prosecutor asked.

“He could have just walked away instead of throwing the brick,” Patrick said.

“Shane said he shuffled back and told Howard twice not to come near him. He did and Shane threw rock, cinderblock, rock at him and struck him in the side of the head,” Williams said.

A grand jury ultimately will decide intent versus reality.

McCaffrey originally was charged with malicious wounding in the attack until LeMaster later died -- upgrading the charge to murder.



UPDATE 8/27/12 @ 3:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A murder charge was filed Monday afternoon against a man accused of hitting another man in the head with a cinderblock.

Huntington Police say that Shane McCaffrey, 25, of Huntington was fighting with another man outside Howard LeMaster's home along Adams Avenue last Monday night. Police say LeMaster told McCaffrey to leave and he refused. When LeMaster stepped in to break up the fight, that's when police say McCaffrey picked up a cinder block and threw it at LeMaster, hitting him in the head.

LeMaster, 49, died Saturday morning at a Huntington Hospital.

Lt. John Williams says autopsy results show that Lemaster died from the injury.

McCaffrey was arrested a short time after the incident and originally charged with malicious wounding. That charge was dropped as the upgraded murder charge was filed.

McCaffrey remains in the Western Regional Jail..

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE: 8/25/12 @ 3:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Murder charges will be filed against a man accused of hitting a man over the head with a cinderblock, according to detectives.

Huntington Police tell WSAZ.com Shane McCaffrey, 25, of Huntington, threw a cinder block at Howard LeMaster during a scuffle Monday. McCaffrey was arrested and originally charged with malicious wounding.

Police say LeMaster, 49, died just after 11 a.m. Saturday at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

The prosecutor plans on dismissing the malicious wounding charge on Monday and filing murder charges.

McCaffrey remains in jail.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for updates.



UPDATE: 8/25/12 @ 3:25 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man hit in the head with a cinderblock trying to break-up a fight has died in the hospital as a result of his injuries.

Hospital officials tell WSAZ.com Howard LeMaster died Saturday morning.

Huntington Police say the incident happened Monday night at a home along Adams Avenue.

Officers say Shane McCaffrey, 25, of Huntington, threw a cinder block at LeMaster during a scuffle. He was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

LeMaster, who's 49 years old, was originally in stable condition but since took a deadly turn.

No word yet if McCaffrey will face any other charges.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police say a man trying to break-up up a fight was hit in the head with a cinderblock.

Huntington Police say the incident happened at a residence in the 200-block of Adams Avenue about 11 p.m. Monday.

Police say the victim, a 49-year-old man from Huntington, was listed in stable condition Tuesday at a Huntington hospital.

The suspect was located a short time later in 300-block of 5th Avenue.

Police arrested and charged Shane McCaffrey, 25, of Huntington, with malicious wounding.

He is being held in the Western Regional Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.


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