UPDATE | Mistrial declared in Boone County manslaughter trial

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MGN Online(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 2, 2017 at 11:44 PM EST
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UPDATE 3/1/19 @ 3:50 p.m.

A mistrial was declared Friday in the trial of a man accused of manslaughter in the death of a man hit and killed by a car two years ago, Boone County court officials say.

It happened after the jury was deadlocked.

Mitchell Hughes has been on trial since Feb. 20 in the death of James "Gumby" Smith. In March 2017, Smith was fatally injured.

Investigators say Smith was run down on purpose.

Charges against another suspect, Brittany Thomas, were later dropped.


UPDATE 3/1/19 @ 3:30 p.m.

Deliberations are underway Friday in the trial of a man accused of manslaughter in the death of a man hit and killed by a car.

Mitchell Hughes has been on trial since Feb. 20 in the death of James "Gumby" Smith. In March 2017, Smith was fatally injured.

Investigators say Smith was run down on purpose.

Charges against another suspect, Brittany Thomas, were later dropped.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 2/26/19 @ 10:25 p.m.

A trial is underway for a man facing manslaughter charges in the death of a man hit and killed by a car nearly two years ago.

Underway since Feb. 20, the trial for Mitchell Hughes is expected to last through this week, with a verdict possibly by Thursday or Friday.

A grand jury indicted Hughes on a voluntary manslaughter charge in connection with the death of James “Gumby” Smith who was hit and killed by a car in March 2017. Investigators say Smith was run down on purpose.

Charges against another suspect, Brittany Thomas, were later dropped.


UPDATE 3/3/17 @ 6 p.m.

The Boone County Sheriff's office is investigating a murder -- believed to be a love triangle turned violent.

Mitchell Caleb Hughes, 25, and Brittany Nicole Thomas, 22, both of Racine, West Virginia, were arrested Thursday night and charged with murder and conspiracy.

The charges come after James "Gumby" Smith was hit and killed by a car on Wednesday.

Investigators believe Hughes was behind the wheel and ran the man down on purpose.

Smith's family tells WSAZ that Hughes made threats to harm the man before this incident occurred.

According to deputies, and both Smith and Hughes have been involved in an intimate relationship with Thomas during the last several months.

"He might not have been a saint. He had his wrongs. He didn't deserve this," Gumby Smith's ex-wife Tonya Smith told WSAZ on Friday.

The family also said they are prone to tragedy.

Smith's father had just passed away before his death, and his brother was murdered 17 years ago.

The family tells WSAZ that case has gone unsolved.

Now the family is working to bring justice for their loved one. They've set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs. Click on the related link for more.

WSAZ reached out to both Brittany Thomas and Mitchell Hughes at the South Western Regional Jail. They both declined to comment.


ORIGINAL STORY 3/2/17

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Boone County Sheriff's office is investigating a murder.

Mitchell Caleb Hughes, 25, and Brittany Nicole Thomas, 22, both of Racine, West Virginia, were arrested Thursday night and charged with murder and conspiracy.

Deputies say the charges stem from an incident on Toney's Branch Road Wednesday night. They say James "Gumby" Smith, 37, of Peytona, was deliberately and intentionally struck with a vehicle driven by Hughes, causing his death.

The three were friends, according to deputies, and both Smith and Hughes have been involved in an intimate relationship with Thomas over the last several months.

The incident is under investigation.

Thomas and Hughes are being held in Southwestern Regional Jail.