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LeMaster not guilty of all charges in Huntington murder trial

(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 18, 2015 at 4:12 AM EDT
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UPDATE 11/4/16 @ 8 p.m.

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After nearly six hours of jury deliberations, a Huntington man has been found not guilty Friday night of all charges in the shooting death of another man early last year outside the accused man's home.

Micah LeMaster was found not guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

LeMaster was accused of killing Josh Martin outside LeMaster's Donald Avenue home in March 2015.

Martin's family gasped and cried when the verdict was read. LeMaster and his family were escorted out of the courthouse by security.

"We are disappointed," Prosecutor Sean "Corky" Hammers said. "We were passionate about it being a crime, but the jury listened to the instructions, and they didn't think it was a crime, and we have to respect that."

During their closing arguments Friday morning, both sides stuck to their original story.

LeMaster's attorney Rich Weston said he was protecting his family after Martin tried to break in around 3 a.m.

"The facts are on our side. Mr. LeMaster was forced, forced to use self defense that night, self defense, to protect himself and to protect others," said Weston.

But prosecutors say LeMaster escalated the situation by leaving the protection of his home and following a naked, injured and unarmed Martin into the street.

"Josh tried to get away," said assistant prosecutor Peggy Brown. "The defendant stayed outside after Josh had run away, watching. And when Josh came back into his view, he walked toward him and shot him dead."

Brown concluded her closing statement charging the jury to send a message to the people of Cabell County, "That it is not acceptable to shoot someone who comes to your door, even in the middle of the night, and thereafter pursue them and shoot them dead, even if they are acting crazy."

Weston then mirrored her words with a similar charge to the citizens, "Let it be known that if you're forced to defend your kids from a man who is high and who is crazy that we're not going to second guess you when you have to make a split-second decision."

After the verdict was read, a relative was overheard voicing frustration that none of the jurors were African American.

"To be quite honest, I don't think we started out with any," Hammers said, "and if we did have any, they had a reason to strike them. If there were any African Americans on this jury to start with, I can assure you they were not stricken from this jury because they were African american."

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest.


UPDATE 11/4/16 @ 3:55 p.m.

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A two-week long murder trial is now in the hands of the jury.

The jury began their deliberations in the case about 2 p.m.

Micah LeMaster is accused of killing Josh Martin outside LeMaster's home in March 2015.

During their closing arguments Friday morning, both sides stuck to their original story.

LeMaster's attorney Rich Weston said he was protecting his family after Martin tried to break in around 3 a.m.

"The facts are on our side. Mr. LeMaster was forced, forced to use self defense that night, self defense, to protect himself and to protect others," said Weston.

But prosecutors say LeMaster escalated the situation by leaving the protection of his home and following a naked, injured and unarmed Martin into the street.

"Josh tried to get away,” said assistant prosecutor Peggy Brown. “The defendant stayed outside after Josh had run away, watching. And when Josh came back into his view, he walked toward him and shot him dead."

Brown concluded her closing statement charging the jury to send a message to the people of Cabell County, "That it is not acceptable to shoot someone who comes to your door, even in the middle of the night, and thereafter pursue them and shoot them dead, even if they are acting crazy."

Weston then mirrored her words with a similar charge to the citizens, “Let it be known that if you're forced to defend your kids from a man who is high and who is crazy that we're not going to second guess you when you have to make a split-second decision."

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


UPDATE 11/3/16 @ 6:10 p.m.

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The defense rested its case in a Cabell County murder trial Thursday afternoon. It happened without the defendant, Micah LeMaster, testifying, which comes as a bit of a surprise.

LeMaster is accused of killing Joshua Martin outside LeMaster's home along Donald Avenue in Huntington in March 2015.

The defense says LeMaster was protecting his family after Martin tried to break into his home. But prosecutors say LeMaster escalated the situation by following a naked and injured Martin outside into the street and later killing him.

The key defense witness Thursday was Dennis Root, an expert witness in the area of use of force.

He concludes that based on factors like an individual's size and behavior -- especially if they are under the influence of drugs -- even a naked man without a weapon can pose a deadly force threat.

"Fear justifies force. If somebody is really afraid for their life that justifies their application of force. It's based on their particular perception,” said Root.

He came to several conclusions based on eyewitness testimony, forensic evidence and other factors. But he did not interview LeMaster or LeMaster’s wife, Elizabeth Mott.

But when prosecutions cross-examined Root about the recommended course of action for LeMaster and Mott after the initial attempted break-in and shots fired, he admitted, “I would agree if you've been in a life-or-death battle, stay where you are at."

With the defense resting, prosecutors will pick up with their rebuttal Friday morning.


UPDATE 11/2/16 @ 6:25 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The prosecution rested in its case against Micah LeMaster Wednesday morning. Then it was time for the LeMaster’s attorneys to make their case.

LeMaster is accused of killing Joshua Martin, 21, outside LeMaster’s home on Donald Avenue in the Enslow Park of Huntington in March 2015.

Defense attorneys say LeMaster was protecting his home and his family after a series of events starting with Martin trying to break into his home around 3 a.m. LeMaster fired several shots through his front door, hitting Martin. But prosecutors say LeMaster escalated the situation by following a naked, unarmed and wounded Martin outside and into the street, leaving the safety of his home.

Elizabeth Mott, LeMaster's wife, spent much of the day Wednesday giving her side of the story.

She testified she was woken up by her kids, crying when Martin tried to break in. She woke up her husband, then went upstairs to be with her kids.

But prosecutors questioned why Mott, an Army medic and doctor in residency, grabbed a gun and didn't call police, even though her phone was nearby and she had sent a text less than an hour earlier.

"I only have seconds to make a decision,” Mott said. “911, I'm not going to be able to call them fast enough. It's happening too quickly."

She also testified that they never pursued Martin and never wanted anything like this to happen to her or anyone else.

Prosecutors questioned her testimony, asking why it took her so long to call 911 and why some details were left out to dispatchers initially, like that she had fired her gun. At times her 911 call was very specific, including that Martin was naked, 6 feet 2 inches tall and “clearly not right in the head.” But she testified she didn’t see that he had been shot twice already.

They also focused on a part of the conversation where the dispatcher told her that they couldn’t shoot someone in the street. It wasn’t until 57 seconds later, in the middle of telling the dispatcher about shots being fired through the door, that she told her husband, yelling, “Micah, Micah, come back. We can’t.” Still, she testified her husband never left the yard and said her words were in reference to the dispatcher’s earlier statement about shooting someone in the street.

While Martin was killed by bullets from LeMaster's gun, Mott also fired two shots at Martin and missed.

"So you fired two shots at him,” said assistant prosecutor Sharon Frazier. “He's 10-15 feet (away), you've been looking at him so you could see the expression on his face. He moved directly towards you and you missed with both shots. Is that what your testimony is?"

"Yes, it was very fast,” replied Mott.

Mott says Martin was screaming and threatening her husband throughout the incident.

The defense also called Olivia Boso, the girl who had been dating Martin for a few weeks before the incident. In her initial interview with police after the incident, she had said she was scared of Martin after the couple smoked marijuana and drank a hallucinogenic mushroom smoothie with a couple others to celebrate her birthday. She had also reported Martin had a crazy look in his eye at times.

But, under oath Wednesday, she changed her words, saying she was scared of what was happening inside the house. Under cross-examination from prosecutors, she began crying when Frazier brought up text messages where she had told Martin she was depressed with texts like “I’m hating myself” and “I don’t like looking at myself.”

LeMaster is expected to take the stand at some point during the trial. On Thursday, the defense is expected to call on a self-defense expert who also testified in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman trial in Florida.


UPDATE 10/27/16 @ 5:35 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- Day three in the trial of Micah LeMaster wrapped up Thursday afternoon.

He's charged with killing Joshua Martin on Donald Avenue in the Enslow Park neighborhood of Huntington in March of last year.

Defense attorneys say LeMaster was protecting his home and his family after a series of events starting with martin trying to break into his home.

But prosecutors say he escalated the situation by following a naked, unarmed and wounded Martin outside and into the street, leaving the safety of his home.

One piece of evidence played for the jury was a 911 call from that night Rodney Pell.

"I think I just saw somebody shoot somebody," said Pell in recording. "It was pretty close quarters too. He was about three feet away."

Pell was also in court Thursday and used a diagram of the neighborhood to describe what he saw to the jury.

"A succession of 3-4 shots and then person B (Martin) fell right there. And then I went and got my phone and call 911," he testified.

Pell is a former Huntington police officer who lives on the hill overlooking Lemaster's home.

In the 911 recording, he tells the dispatcher what he saw.

"I saw the muzzle flashes. I didn't see the gun, just I heard what I heard. I heard 3-4 rapid shots. He raised up one hand, there were 3-4 shots. I saw the muzzle flash and then the person fell."

Defense attorneys say Pell was too far away to get the the full picture.

But, for the most part, it was the experts who testified Thursday.

The state medical examiner shared bloody photos of Martin's body, bringing tears for some of his loved ones in the audience.

The medical examiner also talked about each of the six bullet wounds, as well as the toxicology report showing Martin had marijuana and mushrooms in his system when he died, but no narcotics or alcohol.

While he testified that there were no cuts to Martin's hands or feet, the defense focused on scrapes which could have come from Martin breaking a pane of glass in LeMaster's front door.

Other forensic analysts testified about the bullets recovered coming from LeMaster's gun as well as gunshot residue from LeMaster as well as his wife, who had also fired shots that night, but didn't hit Martin.


UPDATE 10/25/16 @ 6:15 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Micah LeMaster is charged with shooting and killing Joshua Martin, 21, in March 2015.

It happened outside LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue in the Enslow Park neighborhood in Huntington.

The defense said Tuesday that LeMaster was standing his ground, protecting his house and his family. But prosecutors say he did far more, killing the victim a few minutes after he had already wounded him.

The two sides laid out their arguments Tuesday morning.

With a photo of Martin looking on, prosecutors said what happened around 3 a.m. March 18, 2015, didn't have to happen, even if Martin may have been high on drugs at the time.

"This case is not about marijuana, it's not about a mushroom smoothie,” said assistant prosecutor Sharon Frazier. “It's about a young man in need of help who was gunned down instead."

But the defense team for LeMaster disagrees.

"I want to tell you the story of how we got here today,” said defense attorney Rich Weston. “Contrary to what they might tell you, that story is about drugs. That's why we're in this courtroom today."

After opening arguments, the jury took a field trip, visiting the scene at LeMaster's house. With the court reporter typing away, Judge Paul Farrell pointed out locations which would come up later in the case, including two spots nearby where various eyewitnesses had vantage points.

The defense focused Tuesday on LeMaster's situation, being woken up by a would-be burglar who allegedly yelled back he had a gun.

"Mind you, it's dark on that porch. He hasn't seen the burglar at all,” Weston said. “He hasn't seen whether he has any clothes on or not. He can't shoot right into that door, so he backs up and aims at that doorknob and he aims and he puts three shots through that door."

But prosecutors are focusing on other details, including what neighbors testify they heard that night, particularly four more shots which happened minutes after the initial shots through the front door.

They question why LeMaster did not immediately call 911 and instead walked outside of his house, leaving a front door which was still barricaded shut to follow a naked Martin, who was already wounded and had run across the street into a neighbor's yard.

The defense says Martin eventually ran back toward LeMaster, who was standing outside his home, and that's when he fired four more shots, killing Martin. Weston argues what LeMaster did was protect himself.

"You have every right to use deadly force to repel that person," he said.

But Frazier argues what he did was commit murder.

"This case is not about gun rights,” she said. “We all have guns in our houses. This is West Virginia. It's the United States. It's part of our Constitutional rights. But with gun ownership comes responsibility."

Jurors also heard testimony from two police officers who responded to the scene as well as from a neighbor who was woken by the sound of screaming.

On Wednesday, prosecutors are expected to call additional eyewitnesses and an investigator.


UPDATE 8/18/16 @ 12:20 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of murder in the shooting death of a young man in Huntington last year was back in court Thursday.

Micah Lemaster is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Josh Martin. It happened March 18, 2015, just outside Lemaster's home along Donald Avenue.

The trial was originally set for May, but has been continued.

On Thursday, the judge granted a defense motion up to $5,000 to retain a CSI expert provided by the state. The defense also filed a motion to return seized guns, evidence they would like to have during trial.

Police testified early in the case that Martin, a Huntington High graduate and former Marshall student, was shot six times and was found naked and unarmed.

Police said that three of the shots came from inside Lemaster’s home and went through the front door and the screen door.

After the initial shots from inside the home, police testified that Lemaster then pursued Martin outside where he continued to fire several shots.

A trial date is set for Oct. 24.


UPDATE 3/18/16 @ 11 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One year ago, 21-year-old Josh Martin was shot to death, naked and unarmed, outside a home in Huntington.

Friday night, family and friends held a candlelight vigil and balloon release at Ritter Park in remembrance of the former Huntington High homecoming king and Marshall student.

"Every day is just a blur," Josh's mother Tammy Clements said.

Clements says her son was working toward becoming a math teacher.

"His whole thing was to live life ... and he lived it," Clements said.

"He was perfect," Josh's friend Kari Maneghmouche said. "He was so funny. He had the most beautiful smile. He was so talented."

Josh's life ended around 3 a.m. March 18, 2015, outside the home of 37-year-old Micah Lemaster on Donald Avenue.

Police say Lemaster fired three shots from inside the house that went through the door.

Then police say evidence showed Lemaster pursued Josh outside where he continued to fire.

Lemaster's wife told police Josh was trying to break into their home

Josh's mom doesn't believe it.

"That's just not him," Clements said. "He did anything and everything to help anybody, and that's just not him. He would never ever do that."

She says to her knowledge, her son didn't know his alleged killer, and she has no idea why he was there.

"The only people that really know are him and the other person involved, and that's not going to bring him back," Clements said.

Lemaster is on home confinement. His trial is set to get underway in May.


UPDATE 2/11/16

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged in a Huntington murder has asked for a bond reduction so he can get off home confinement.

Micah Lemaster is charged in the shooting death of Joshua Martin. He was killed in March 2015 at Lemaster's home on Donald Avenue in Huntington.

Police testified during a preliminary hearing that Martin was shot six times and that his body was found naked and unarmed.

Police said that three of the shots came from inside Lemaster’s home and went through the front door and the screen door.

After the initial shots from inside the home, police testified that Lemaster then pursued Martin outside where he continued to fire several shots.

Police also testified that a witness reported that Martin had been using marijuana and mushrooms that night. His clothes and phone were lying about 100 yards away from his body. They also said they did not know why Martin would have been in Enslow Park to begin with.

Lemaster’s wife told Police that Martin was trying to break into their home.

Lemaster has been on home confinement for 10 months. Thursday in court, his attorney requested a bond reduction, stating Lemaster was not a flight risk or a risk for committing another crime.

Judge Paul Ferrell denied the request saying, "I think it's very lenient that he's in home confinement at this point on a first degree murder charge."

Lemaster is set to go on trial in May.


UPDATE 1/28/16

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The trial for a Huntington man charged with first-degree murder for a shooting that happened at his home, where the victim was found naked has been set.

Micah Lemaster's trial for the death of Joshua Martin is set to begin May 16th. Jury selection will begin the 13th.

The shooting happened at LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue about 3 a.m. March 18, 2015.

Police testified during a preliminary hearing that Martin was shot six times and that his body was found naked and unarmed.

Police said that three of the shots came from inside LeMaster’s home and went through the front door and the screen door.

After the initial shots from inside the home, police testified that LeMaster then pursued Martin outside where he continued to fire several shots.

Police also testified that a witness reported that Martin had been using marijuana and mushrooms that night. His clothes and phone were lying about 100 yards away from his body. They also said they did not know why Martin would have been in Enslow Park to begin with.

LeMaster’s wife told Police that Martin was trying to break into their home.

LeMaster will remain on home confinement.


UPDATE 1/22/16

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A Huntington man has been indicted for murder in a shooting that happened at his home, where the victim was found naked.

Micah LeMaster, 37, of Huntington, is charged with killing 21-year-old Joshua Martin. A Cabell County grand jury returned the indictment this week.

The shooting happened at LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue about 3 a.m. March 18, 2015.

Police testified during a preliminary hearing that Martin was shot six times and that his body was found naked and unarmed.

Police said that three of the shots came from inside LeMaster’s home and went through the front door and the screen door.

After the initial shots from inside the home, police testified that LeMaster then pursued Martin outside where he continued to fire several shots.

Police also testified that a witness reported that Martin had been using marijuana and mushrooms that night. His clothes and phone were lying about 100 yards away from his body. They also said they did not know why Martin would have been in Enslow Park to begin with.

LeMaster’s wife told Police that Martin was trying to break into their home

LeMaster will remain on home confinement until he arraigned on the charge.

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


UPDATE 3/27/15 @ 7:30 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A magistrate has found probable cause to send the murder case against Micah LeMaster to a grand jury.

LeMaster, 37, of Huntington, is charged in the shooting death of 21-year-old Joshua Martin.

The shooting happened at LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue about 3 a.m. March 18.

Several Huntington Police officers and neighbors testified during the preliminary hearing in Cabell County Magistrate Court Friday morning.

HPD Detective Matt Null testified that Martin had been shot six times and that his body was found naked and unarmed when police arrived.

Detective Null says that three of the shots came from inside LeMaster’s home and went through the front door and the screen door.

Null says the blood trail went from the front porch, down the front steps, and across the street to a neighbor’s house.

He said shortly after, the initial shots from inside the home, evidence showed that Lemaster pursued Martin outside where he continued to fire several shots, ultimately killing him.

Null also testified that a witness reported that Martin had been using marijuana and mushrooms that night.

He says the victim’s clothes and phone were lying about 100 yards away from his body.

During testimony, Null also says that LeMaster's premeditation is shown by his coming out of a barricaded home to continue to shoot Martin. LeMaster’s attorney, Rich Weston, says there is no evidence of premeditation, and argued that his actions were to protect his family.

During his summary at the end of the hearing, Mr. Weston said, "Mr Martin got voluntarily intoxicated on numerous illegal substances ... took off his clothes tried to kick [Mr. Lemaster's] door in, and he was forced to defend himself."

During cross examination, Null said he did not know why Martin would have been in Enslow Park to begin with.

LeMaster’s wife said that Martin was trying to break into their home.

One neighbor testified that he witnessed Martin running toward LeMaster after hearing two gun shots. Another neighbor testified that he woke up to screaming and gun shots.

Prior to the hearing, LeMaster was able to post bond. He will be released from jail and placed on home confinement following the hearing.

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


UPDATE 3/27/15 @ 11:45 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A preliminary hearing is underway in the shooting death of 21-year–old Joshua Martin.

Micah LeMaster, 37, of Huntington, has been charged with murder in the case.

The shooting happened at LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue on March 18.

HPD Detective Matt Null testified that Martin had been shot six times and his body was found naked and unarmed when police arrived.

Detective Null says that three of the shots came from inside LeMaster’s home, and went through the front door and the screen door.

Null says the blood trail went from the front porch, down the front steps, and across the street to a neighbor’s house.

During testimony, Null also says that LeMaster's premeditation is shown by his coming out of a barricaded home to continue to shoot Martin.

The hearing is taking place in a circuit courtroom. The Magistrate must determine from the testimony if there is probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.

Prior to the hearing, LeMaster was able to post bond. He will be released from jail and placed on home confinement following the hearing.

We have a crew in the hearing.

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


UPDATE 3/19/15 @ 6:19 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- We are learning new information about the hours leading up to a deadly shooting in Huntington.

Police said Joshua Martin, 21, was shot to death by Micah LeMaster, 37, after an "encounter" outside LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue.

Family members tells us Martin was found naked and shot eight times.

Now, they said they're just trying to comprehend why this happened.

Meanwhile, LeMaster, the murder suspect, could be home soon.

A judge set his bond at $750,000, and if it he can come up with $75,000 in cash or by putting up property, he'll be able to leave jail.

But that decision in itself isn't sitting well with Martin's very emotional family members who want LeMaster to stay behind bars.

"I just don't feel like it's fair, I just want to know why, there's no reason," said Sherri Powell, Martin's Aunt.

Powell said she has so many questions and far too few answers.

She and other tearful family members of Martin said nothing about his murder makes sense.

"It's devastated us, it's tearing us apart," said Terry Whisman, Martin's Uncle.

Huntington Police arrested LeMaster after officers said he and Martin had an encounter about 3 a.m. Wednesday, leading to a shooting outside LeMaster's home.

"I can see one gunshot, but eight shots to the back," said Whisman.

We've now learned, Martin may have been at a party the night before.

His boss said it was one of his co-worker's birthdays.

"I think the birthday party ended and I don't know what happened, something went wrong," said Anna Pope, General Manager at Pullman Plaza Hotel.

Investigators said they're still trying to determine why the two men met at such odd hours and why the encounter escalated so quickly.

Martin's boss doesn't believe it could've been drugs, she said he passed drug tests every time.

Powell described Martin as family-oriented, smart and outgoing.

"He wasn't drinking or anything at the party, they said that was the last time they'd seen him, that was around 7:00 p.m. that evening," she said. "Then the next thing you know at 3:00 a.m. is when they found him dead on the sidewalk, with no clothes on."

Thursday, LeMaster's attorney fought for his bond in court, describing him as a husband and father of three young children.

His attorney described his wife as a medical student at Marshall in residency.

LeMaster stayed silent in the hearing.

The judge set LeMaster's bond at $750,000, despite pleas to deny it.

He also added, if LeMaster could make bond, he must be on home confinement and all guns must be removed from his home.

"I want justice done because there was no reason for this, there was no reason for this at all," Powell said.

Prosecutors said it was only early Thursday forensics crews were finally leaving the scene of the shooting.

Investigators have not confirmed how many times Martin was shot or if drugs or alcohol were factors.

LeMaster's attorney declined to comment on the case, but said in court, his client was "overcharged".

Huntington Police said an autopsy is being completed in Charleston, but it could take some time for results.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for more on this story.


UPDATE 3/19/15 @ 2:15 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man charged in a deadly shooting in Huntington early Wednesday morning has been given a $750,000 bond.

Huntington Police say Micah LeMaster, 37, shot and killed Joshua Martin, 21, outside LeMaster’s home on Donald Avenue. The shooting was reported just after 3 a.m.

Investigators have not released a motive for the shooting, but say that Martin was shot multiple times ins what they call “an encounter.”

Police found his body on the sidewalk outside the house. Police also say the two men did not know each other.

LeMaster was in Cabell County Circuit Court for the bond hearing Thursday afternoon.

Both LeMaster’s attorney and the Cabell County Prosecutor made motions on why there should and should not be bond set in the case.

Details on what happened were not discussed during the hearing.

Judge Paul Farrell ruled that if LeMaster makes the $750,000 bond-10% cash, he will be on home confinement and must remove all weapons from the house. His next court appearance is a preliminary hearing on the murder charge for next week.

LeMaster will remain in the Western Regional Jail until he is able to makes bond.

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


UPDATE 3/18/15 @ 10 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The question of what led to a fatal shooting in Huntington early Wednesday morning remains unanswered.

Huntington Police said a man was shot and killed after an encounter on Donald Avenue.

Investigators confirmed Joshua Martin, 21, died of gunshot wounds.

The man police say pulled the trigger, Micah LeMaster, lived at a home along Donald Avenue.

LeMaster has been arrested and charged with murder.

Police say the reason behind the shooting is still unclear.

Several neighbors tell WSAZ they woke up to the sound of gunshots and yelling.

"It just makes me want to make sure I lock my doors all the time, cause you never know," said neighbor Ann Dragovich.

People in the community are anxious to find out what drove LeMaster to do this. They say he was always warm and friendly.

"We never know what goes on behind closed doors," neighbor Larry Nelson said.

"It just must have triggered him really, really bad," neighbor Mary Clayton said.

Huntington Police say LeMaster, 37, shot Martin repeatedly outside LeMaster's home on Donald Avenue, after what they call "an encounter."

Huntington Police aren't elaborating on what happened before the shots, or if this shooting involved drugs or self-defense.

"I just heard like pops, pop, pop, pop, pop, then it stopped and I heard that woman scream," Neely said.

Police said the two men did not know each other.

We're told Martin didn't live in the neighborhood. Why he was there is still a mystery.

"This is almost surreal, to have this going on in front of my house," one neighbor said.

Detectives said several people called 911 about the shooting, but it's unclear if any calls were made before shots were ever fired.

WSAZ also tried to obtain the 911 calls, but investigators said those would not be released.

Police said they feel confident in the charges against LeMaster based on eyewitness accounts and also physical evidence at the scene.

Investigators say LeMaster is being held at the Western Regional Jail without bond.

He's expected back in court Thursday.

Friends tell WSAZ Martin was a graduate of Huntington High School. Wednesday friends posted messages grieving his loss on his Facebook page.

Martin's body is being sent for an autopsy.

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


UPDATE 3/18/15 @ 3:03 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Huntington man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting on Donald Avenue in Huntington Wednesday morning.

The shooting happened in the 2000 block of Donald Avenue at about 3:15 a.m.

Micah E. LeMaster, 37, wholives at that house where the shooting happened, was taken into custody Wednesday morning and charged with murder, according to a news release from Huntington Police.

Police say the victim is Joshua Martin, 21, of Huntington

Police say when they arrived at the house they found Martin's body on the sidewalk. They say he had been shot multiple times with a handgun.

Polcie Chief Joe Ciccarelli says there was an encounter on the street between the Martin and LeMaster which resulted in the shooting. Police have not released a motive.

Chief Joe Ciccarelli says the arrest and charge came after investigators consulted with the Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The Chief says Martin did not live at the Donald Avenue address.

LeMaster was arraigned on the charge in Cabell County Magistrate Court just before noon. He is being held without bond in the Western Regional Jail.

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


UPDATE 3/18/15 @ 6:20 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police are on the scene of a shooting that happened overnight.

It was reported about 3 a.m. Wednesday in the 2000 block of Donald Avenue.

Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli tells WSAZ the man was shot multiple times and died from his injuries.

Our crew on the scene says the body is outside the house on the sidewalk.

The chief says the man was confronted by two people who live in a home and shots were fired.

Police say they have contacted the prosecutor's office to determine if charges will be filed. Chief Ciccarelli tells WSAZ it's too early in the investigation to determine charges at this time.

Police say they are not searching for a suspect.

We have a crew at the scene.

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


UPDATE 3/18/15 @ 5:05 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man has died after being shot in Huntington.

It was reported about 3 a.m. Wednesday in the 2000 block of Donald Avenue.

No other information is being released at this time.

We have a crew on the scene.

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ORIGINAL STORY 3/18/15 @ 4:12 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man was shot on the 2000 block of Donald Avenue around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Huntington Police say there was a disturbance that ended with one man being shot.

There is no information regarding the victim's injuries.

WSAZ has a crew on scene.

Keep visiting WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.