Probable Cause Found for Two Accused of Killing WJU Student - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

UPDATE: Case Against Two Accused of Killing WJU Student Kevin Figaniak Bound Over to Grand Jury

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WTRF.com UPDATE:

After the hearing Thursday, Craig Peacock's attorney Robert McCoid, and Prosecutor Shawn Turak spoke to the media regarding the outcome.

"There was absolutely no proof of intent to kill," McCoid told 7News. "Intent to kill is a requisite element of murder."

Inside the courtroom, McCoid claimed it was "outrageous" to suggest that this case is a murder case.

"I agree with Mr McCoid, the attorney for Mr. Peacock, that an outrage has occurred in this case," Turak said after the hearing.  "The outrage from the state of West Virginia's standpoint is that Kevin Figaniak is 21 years old and he's dead."

During testimony by Wheeling Police Detective Daniel Holmes, the identity of the third possible suspect in the case was revealed. 

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger told 7News Thursday that his detectives had identified Tyler Witty the day that Peacock and Chandler were arrested, and that they had made contact with him last Tuesday.

"He was out of state and since that time, Mr. Witty has been cooperating," Chief Schwertfeger said. "He has obtained council and we are working very hard to secure an interview with him."

Chief Schwertfeger said the investigation is far from over. While testimony Thursday revealed some details about the injuries that caused Figaniak's death, the full autopsy report has still not been released.

According to Holmes' testimony, the Medical Examiner determined that Figaniak died of severe brain injuries due to blunt force trauma to the head. Testimony also revealed that there were multiple areas of impact, at least one on the back of the head, and another on the right side of the head.

McCoid told 7News Thursday that he was delighted with the way the hearing went.

"We are glad the evidence is coming in the way it's coming in, and we are very eager to have our trial," McCoid said.

According to Turak, the next grand jury is scheduled to meet in January of 2014. Turak said that  if this case is presented, a grand jury in a secret proceeding would determine if the case should go forward to an arraignment and trial.

 


 

 

WTRF.com UPDATE:

Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby has found probable cause to continue the case against 22-year-old Craig Peacock and 24-year-old Jarrett Chandler. Both are charged with second-degree murder in the death of WJU student Kevin Figaniak. Their cases will be bound over to the next meeting of the Grand Jury.


ORIGINAL STORY:

It's been almost two weeks since the Kevin Figaniak was found unconscious in Wheeling after he was severely beaten, later dying in Pittsburgh hospital.

Just a few days later, police made two arrests and charged two out-of-state men with murder.   22-year-old Craig Peacock of Florida and 24-year-old Jarrett Chandler of Louisiana are expected to be in court on Thursday for their preliminary hearing. The two were arrested last week at a campsite frequented by oil and gas workers.

Peacock's hearing was set for 1 p.m. and Chandler's was set for 2 p.m.. Both will be in front of Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby.

During this preliminary hearing, the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with the case. The two suspects also have a right to waive the hearing. One of the men has been appointed a public defender and the other will be represented by private council.

(Related story: Arrests made at oil, gas campground in beating death of Wheeling Jesuit University student)

The autopsy results for Figaniak have not been released, and police are continuing to search for at least one more suspect. Stay with wtrf.com as we continue to follow this story.