Stull convicted of voluntary manslaughter

Marlinton, W.Va. – Last Friday in Pocahontas County Circuit Court, a jury convicted Charles Stull of voluntary manslaughter in the June 30, 2010 shooting death of Jesse Bennett. Stull had been charged with first degree murder in the case. Here is an interview from Sunday with Stull’s defense attorney, Eugene Simmons.

Geoff Hamill: “Mr. Simmons, what do you think as the key factor in the outcome of this murder trail?”

Eugene Simmons: “Well, one of the key things I thought was the inability of the State to get in some statements that we thought might have been very harmful to us. And that’s why we’d made certain motions, in relation to that, to keep that testimony out – some of the statements that some of the individuals had alleged that my client had made, previous to the trail and, actually, previous to the unfortunate accident, where Jesse was killed.”

Geoff Hamill: “Do you believe the jury verdict was justice – voluntary mansslaughter?”

Eugene Simmons: “Yeah, I do. I think the jury probably – and I haven’t talked to any of the jury members yet and I’ll have an opportunity to later – but I think the jury was probably tied up between involuntarily and voluntary and there may have been some people on that jury that was a little bit stronger and this may have been what we call a compromise verdict. In other words, instead of – like a second to an involuntary – they settled for voluntary. Juries have the right to do that. It was a good jury.

“I think my client was satisfied with the jury verdict. He really felt in his own mind that it was an accident, but, you know, some of the circumstances would indicate maybe otherwise. And so, I think he was not unsatisfied. I don’t know the members of the family. You know, it’s really unfortunate somebody has to die in a situation like that and I feel sorry for them. In one of my statements to the jury when I was talking was – ‘I think it’s got to be one of the worst things in the world is to have one of your children die because parents aren’t supposed to bury children. Children are supposed to bury parents.'”
Simmons said the conviction carries a penalty of three years in prison and that Stull has already served two years in prison awaiting trial.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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