UPDATE: Man found guilty of Charleston murder, faces life in prison

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UPDATE 2/3/16 @ 4:32 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man faces life in prison with no mercy after being found guilty of murder.

The verdict came down just before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

He was found guilty of first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Gerald Maxwell.

Maxwell was killed in December 2014.

Thomas took the stand Wednesday and testified that he shot Maxwell because he thought Maxwell was about to shoot him.

Thomas also claimed that Maxwell had a gun, however, prosecutors questioned Thomas about his claim, saying that he was the only one to say Maxwell had a gun that night.

Prosecutors say other witnesses who testified claim that Maxwell did not have a gun.



UPDATE 2/3/16 @ 3 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man, charged with first-degree murder, in connection with the shooting death of Gerald Maxwell took the stand Wednesday in his own defense.

Leonard Thomas, is charged with first-degree murder, in shooting death of Maxwell.

The incident happened in December 2014.

Thomas took the stand Wednesday and testified that he shot Maxwell because he thought Maxwell was about to shoot him.

Thomas also claimed that Maxwell had a gun, however, prosecutors questioned Thomas about his claim, saying that he was the only one to say Maxwell had a gun that night.

Prosecutors say other witnesses who testified claim that Maxwell did not have a gun.

Closing arguments are scheduled in the case for Wednesday afternoon.



UPDATE 12/18/14 @ 4 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The suspect in a shooting in Rand has been arraigned on new charges after the victim died in the hospital.

Leonard Thomas appeared in Kanawha County Magistrate Court on Thursday on upgraded murder charges.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says the victim, Gerald Maxwell, died late Wednesday night.

When WSAZ asked if he had anything to say to Maxwell's family and if he was sorry, Thomas said, "Yes."

The prosecutor's office says Thomas is from out of state and just recently moved to Rand. According to a criminal complaint, Thomas told investigators he moved to the area at the request of people living in the apartment.

Maxwell is no stranger to police. He has a list of felony charges from 2008 to this year. Those charges include multiple robbery, malicious wounding, and battery charges.

Investigators haven't released a motive in the shooting or said how the two knew each other.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 12/18/14 @ 10 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man who was shot in the head Wednesday in Rand has passed away from his injuries.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says Gerald Maxwell died late Wednesday night.

He was shot about 9 a.m. Wednesday in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

Leonard Dwayne Thomas, 44, of Rand, was arrested shortly after the shooting and charged with malicious wounding. Those charges will now be upgraded, according to investigators. No word when he will be arraigned on the charges.

Thomas is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 12/17/14 @ 6:15 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- People who live in one Kanawha County neighborhood hope that a shooting Wednesday doesn't give their neighborhood a bad name.

Around 9 a.m. that morning, a man was shot in the head in the 5300 block of Starling Drive in Rand, sending him to the hospital in serious condition.

Deputies were able to track down the man responsible several hours later. He was found only a few blocks away from the crime scene in a home along Raven Drive.

Some residents of the area says this does not change the way they see their neighborhood.

"The reason I moved to this neighborhood is because we thought it was a nice place to live," Johnny Triplett said. "I'm not concerned that I live in an area with a bunch of violent people."

Triplett said crime has never been an issue in the area. But in Rand, it seems as if something does happen, it is never random acts of crime.

"In Rand in the past year, every incident that I've heard of there was nothing random about it at all," Triplett said. "In fact the people were often blood related."

According to criminal complaints, Leonard Thomas, 44, of Rand, is charged with malicious wounding.

He is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

As of last check with CAMC General, the victim, Gerald Maxell, was still under evaluation.

This shooting had eight Kanawha County Schools on lockdown for more than an hour. That lockdown was lifted after deputies has a person of interest in questioning.



UPDATE 12/17/14 @ 2:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The victim of a shooting in Rand suffered serious injuries and remains under evaluation at a hospital in Charleston.

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

According to the criminal complaint, Gerald Maxwell was shot in the head. A hospital spokesperson at CAMC General says as of 3 p.m., he's still under evaluation.

Shortly after the shooting, deputies arrested Leonard Dewayne Thomas, 44, of Rand, at a nearby house and charged him with malicious wounding.

Deputies say during Thomas' arrest, he told them he was known as "D" and he had been staying at the apartment where the shooting happened. Thomas also told deputies that he came to the Rand area at the request of the people who were in the apartment, according to the complaint. Deputies say Thomas also told them he gave the firearm to a particular person following the incident.

Thomas was arraigned on the charge Wednesday afternoon. The magistrate set his bond at $100,000 cash.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/17/14 @ 1 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies tell WSAZ a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Rand.

Deputies say Leonard Thomas, 44, of Rand, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court just before 1 p.m. on the charge.

The magistrate set Thomas' bond at $100,000 cash only.

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

Deputies say the victim is in serious condition at CAMC General.

Belle Elementary, Carver Career Center, Cedar Grove Elementary, Cedar Grove Middle, Dupont Middle, Malden Elementary, Midland Trail Elementary, and Riverside High School were on lock down for more than an hour during the investigation. That lock down was lifted about 11 a.m.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 12/17/14 @ 11:45 p.m.
RAND, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies tell WSAZ a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Rand.

Leonard Thomas, 44, of Rand, will be charged with malicious wounding, according to deputies. He's expected to be arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court Wednesday afternoon.

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

Deputies say the victim is in serious condition at CAMC General.

Belle Elementary, Carver Career Center, Cedar Grove Elementary, Cedar Grove Middle, Dupont Middle, Malden Elementary, Midland Trail Elementary, and Riverside High School were on lock down for more than an hour during the investigation. That lock down was lifted about 11 a.m.



UPDATE 12/17/14 @ 11:15 a.m.
RAND, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The lock down issued at several schools in Kanawha County following a shooting in Rand has been lifted.

According to Kanawha County Schools, classes will resume on a normal schedule at Belle Elementary, Carver Career Center, Cedar Grove Elementary, Cedar Grove Middle, Dupont Middle, Malden Elementary, Midland Trail Elementary, and Riverside High School.

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

According to crews on the scene, one man was shot and has been taken to CAMC General, where he is in serious condition.

Deputies say a person of interest is in custody.

Deputies say they are waiting on a search warrant for the house where the shooting took place.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/17/14 @ 9:46 a.m.
RAND, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Investigators are on the scene of a shooting in Rand.

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. in the 5000 block of Starling Drive.

According to crews on the scene, one man was shot and has been taken to the hospital. No word on his condition.

The following schools are on lock down due to the shooting:
Belle Elementary, Carver Career Center, Cedar Grove Elementary, Cedar Grove Middle, Dupont Middle, Malden Elementary, Midland Trail Elementary, and Riverside High School.

We have a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



 
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