NEW INFO: Initial Court Appearance for Woman Charged in Ceredo Murder

By: Kristen Schneider, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Kristen Schneider, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/19/12 @ 11:15 a.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman from Ceredo, indicted for the murder of her boyfriend, made her initial court appearance Monday morning.

21-year-old Sara Worstell pleaded not guilty to murder during her arraignment in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Worstell was recently indicted for the death of 22-year-old Michael Meachem.

Ceredo Police were called to an apartment complex along Greenwood Drive in the early morning hours of November 27, 2011.

Police Chief Tony Poston told WSAZ.com that Meachem was on the floor, and unresponsive. He was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Wayne County Prosecutor Thomas Plymale tells WSAZ.com that the autopsy showed that Meachem died of positional asphyxiation.

Plymale says that Worstell told investigators in a statement that Meachem was on his knees and she was behind him and had him in a choke hold. Plymale also says Meachem was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Worstell’s bond was set at $20,000. Her trial is set for February 25 at 9 a.m. She had no comment following the hearing.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/13/12 @ 9:45 a.m.
CEREDO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman from Ceredo has been indicted in connection with the death of her boyfriend, Michael Meachem.

Wayne County Prosecutor Thomas Plymale tells WSAZ.com that 21-year-old Sara Worstell was indicted for murder last week. Plymale says it was a direct indictment -- which means no charges had been filed until now.

Ceredo Police were called to an apartment complex along Greenwood Drive in the early morning hours of November 27, 2011.

Police Chief Tony Poston told WSAZ.com that Meachem, 22, was on the floor, unresponsive and likely intoxicated by alcohol. He was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Posten said, at the time, that Meachem likely died of suffocation.

Plymale tells WSAZ.com that the autopsy showed that Meachem died of positional asphyxiation. Plymale also says Meachem was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

He says that Worstell told investigators in her statement that Meachem was on his knees, she was behind him and had him in a choke hold.

Worstell is set to be arraigned on the charge next week.
Plymale believes she will claim self defense

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/28/11 @ 5:15 p.m.
CEREDO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- We continue to follow a developing story in Ceredo -- a death investigation we first reported Sunday on WSAZ.com.

The probe is now being considered a homicide. The case revolves around a possible suffocation and whether it was intentional.

Police say there was a domestic disturbance call just after 2 a.m. Sunday involving a boyfriend and a girlfriend in a hands-on struggle.

The caller said the young man had passed out and turned blue. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The question is what happened to cause that possible suffocation?

“He hit me, and I tried to defend myself. I think he's dead," a caller from Apt. 2 of Greenwood Apartments told 911 dispatchers.

That’s where Ceredo Police say 22-year-old Michael Meachem and his 20-year-old girlfriend were fighting, leading to Meachem's death from what police initially say looks like suffocation.

“There was physical contact made between the two and, as a result of that, the deceased passed away due to asphyxiation,” Ceredo Police Chief Tony Poston said.

Poston said the girlfriend is the only person of interest in the case. And he says any determination if this was an intentional act will come after autopsy lab reports are final.

Police say Meachem was likely intoxicated. The girlfriend was apparently sober, along with a female friend of hers in the apartment.

Shocked and saddened, Taylor Dillard, one of Meachem's friends since first grade said the former Fairland High student was the fun-loving class clown.

“He was always laughing, hardly ever serious, but when you needed him to be serious, he was an amazing friend,” Dillard said.

Police say there were no previous domestic calls to the couple's apartment and that Meachem's girlfriend had just moved in with her 2-year-old daughter three weeks ago.

Poston says this is a homicide investigation due to the unexplained circumstances with the possible suffocation. And, he explained that the toxicology reports that come in could lead to an arrest and criminal charges -- or possibly not.

Police say Meachem's girlfriend is with her family and is not considered a flight risk or danger to the community. They say those initial autopsy lab reports may come back as early as Tuesday.



UPDATE 11/28/11 @ 12:50 p.m.
CEREDO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police say what was originally called a death investigation in Ceredo is now being investigated as a homicide.

Police Chief Tony Poston tells WSAZ.com Michael Meachem likely died of suffocation.

Police were called to an apartment complex along Greenwood Drive in Ceredo around 2:20 a.m. Sunday for a domestic disturbance.

That is where Poston tells WSAZ.com that Meachem was on the floor, unresponsive and likely intoxicated by alcohol. He was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Poston says it appears there was a hands-on struggle with Meachem and his 20-year-old girlfriend.

Poston tells WSAZ.com she is the only person of interest. Her name has not been released.

Investigators have not determined if the homicide was an intentional act. They are waiting on a toxicology report.

Poston says the two had only lived together for three weeks.

Police say the girlfriend was not intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Meachem was 22 years old.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/28/11 @ 7:07 a.m.
CEREDO, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- A source close to the investigation has confirmed to WSAZ.com the name of a man pronounced dead at a hospital after being found in an apartment building.

Michael Meachem was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital after Ceredo Police were called to an apartment on Greenwood Dr. about 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning.

According to the source, Meachem's family was notified Sunday.

An investigation into Meachem's death is on-going.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for more details as they become available.



ORIGINAL STORY
CEREDO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A death investigation is underway in Wayne County.

Ceredo Police tell WSAZ.com they were called to an apartment complex along Greenwood Drive about 2:20 a.m.

They say the man was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital and was pronounced dead.

No other information has been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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