Crimes and Courts

Judge overturns Wheeling murder conviction

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) - An Ohio County judge has overturned a murder conviction due to new evidence in the case.

Dallas Michael Acoff was convicted of the October 2015 murder of Lemroy Coleman on 15th Street in Wheeling, but another man who survived the incident is telling a different story.

In September of this year, Norman Banks took the stand saying he saw Dallas Acoff fire shots on the steps of the American Legion. According to Banks, that's when Coleman and Banks started running down an alley and fired a few shots in retaliation.

Banks testified that Jerome Saunders appeared out of nowhere and shot him and Coleman. During that trial, Banks did admit his memory of the night was hazy after having a concussion and admitting to drug use.

Banks did admit on the stand he did not tell the whole story to police because he was scared.

Also called to the stand during the September 2017 trial was a private investigator and two Wheeling police officers who said there are many inconsistencies with the stories they received.

RELATED: New Witness Comes Forward in Wheeling Murder Case

Jerome Saunders also took the stand that day, and said he was not in the Legion or even East Wheeling the night of the shooting.

Ohio County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Smith said that they will be appealing this to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Acoff is still convicted of several other charges in connection to this case.

Robert G. McCoid, Acoff's lawyer, released the following statement:

Every jury is entitled to hear the whole truth, not just part of the truth. When a witness has important information relevant to a criminal prosecution, a jury should hear him. The jury never heard from Norman Banks despite the fact that he was named as a victim in the indictment and was actually with Lemroy Coleman when Coleman was killed.

Dallas Acoff's jury had the absolute right to hear Mr. Banks' evidence before determining whether Mr. Acoff was guilty of murder. Granting Mr. Acoff a new trial promises that justice will be done. We look forward to the retrial.

A new trial date has not yet been set.

Stay with 7News for updates on this case.


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