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NEW INFO: Man Indicted in Mingo County Murder; Trial Date Set

By: Carrie Jones, Sarah Sager, Kristen Schneider Email
By: Carrie Jones, Sarah Sager, Kristen Schneider Email

MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged with killing his wife's uncle has been indicted by a Mingo County Grand Jury.

John Hayes, 46, is charged with one count of first degree murder in the death of Robert Workman back on May 31.

Sheriff Deputies say Workman’s body was found in early June about out 150 to 200 yards from his home in the Beech Creek area. Investigators say Workman's body was found in a wooded area and it appeared his body was rolled down a hill.

Smith says Workman's sister reported him missing on June 9. His sister was worried when she found his dog in a kennel inside his home. His sister told police that Workman never left his home without his dog.

Hayes was arrested in Sweetwater, Tenn. after turning himself in to authorities there. Deputies say he confessed to the crime.

Hayes' trial is set for March 20.

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UPDATE 6/18/11 @ 10:15 a.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man who confessed to killing his wife's uncle is back in West Virginia and has now been charged.

Officers at the Southwestern Regional Jail tell WSAZ.com John Hayes, 46, was brought in just before 2:30 p.m. Friday.

They say he is being held there on charges of 1st degree murder and concealment of a body. He has no bond.

This after Mingo County Sheriff's Chief Deputy James Smith says Robert Workman was reported missing June 9.

His body was found Monday afternoon about 150 to 200 yards from his home in the Beech Creek area.

Later that day, Hayes turned himself in to police in Sweetwater, Tenn., and told officers there that he killed Workman. He also told investigators where they could find the body.

There is still no word on a motive for the murder.

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



UPDATE 6/14/11 @ 9 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Worry turned into sorrow for a Mingo County family who found out their missing brother had been murdered.

Chief James Smith with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department says it was a case they had been investigating for nearly a week.

"Monday, around 1 p.m. a detective out of Sweetwater, Tennessee, contacted us and stated that a John Hayes had walked into their office and admitted to killing a man in Mingo County," Smith said.

Robert Workman was a man who lived alone, with no car and no regular contact with anyone but his family.

"Once a month, a family member would come up and take him to the store to get supplies," Smith said. "Talking to neighbors and people in the community, he stayed to himself. He stayed alone at his house. He would get out and walk on the hills every now and then."

It's those walks that led law enforcement to be suspicious about Workman's disappearance.

"The dog was in a kennel and, if he's out walking in the woods, he has his dog with him and a walking stick," Smith said. "His walking stick and the dog were still in the residence."

The sister of the murdered man is the one who called the sheriff's department to report him missing. It turns out her daughter and son-in-law were in town visiting at the time of the disappearance. It's her son-in-law, John Hayes, who deputies believe murdered Workman.

"There's an old gas well road that goes around the hill (and) a couple of gas wells. He had taken him up there and dumped him over into one of the drains, which like I said was very heavy with vegetation, weeds, trees," Smith said.

Now, a family is left with a heavy heart and caught in the middle of a murder.

Deputies plan to bring Hayes back to Mingo County, where he will be charged with murder and concealment of a body.

Officials say they still have no clear motive for why Hayes may have killed Workman.



ORIGINAL STORY
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A confession across state lines has landed a man behind bars.

Mingo County Sheriff's Chief Deputy James Smith says Robert Workman's body was found Monday afternoon about 150 to 200 yards from his home in the Beech Creek area. Investigators say Workman's body was found in a wooded area and it appeared his body was rolled down a hill.

Smith says Workman's sister reported him missing on June 9. His sister was worried when she found his dog in a kennel inside his home. His sister told police that Workman never left his home without his dog.

The Mingo Sheriff's Department along with the Beach Creek Volunteer Fire Department began a search in the area, but it didn't turn up anything.

Then, Monday Smith says John Hayes turned himself in to police in Sweetwater, Tenn., and told officers there that he killed Workman. He also told investigators where they could find the body.

Hayes is married to Workman's niece, according to Smith.

At this point, investigators are still trying to determine a motive and how Workman died.

Mingo Deputies say they hope to get a full confession from Hayes Tuesday and move forward with bringing him back to West Virginia. They hope those details will fill them in on how Workman died.

Smiths says Hayes will be charged with murder and concealment of a body.

Hayes is expected to be extradited back to West Virginia to face the charges in the next week or so.


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