MARTINSBURG, W.Va.—One of two men accused of murder in the fatal stabbing of a man on April 23 near Martinsburg was returned to jail Monday after a Circuit Court judge revoked his bond for violating the terms of home confinement.
Thomas A. Grantham Jr., 35, and James G. Cross Jr., 33, were indicted last month on single counts of murder, attempted murder, malicious assault and conspiracy in the fatal stabbing of Andre Jackson, 21, and wounding of Jacques Taylor.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges in court Monday in an arraignment hearing. Their trial was scheduled for Jan. 31 by presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.
Police said the victims were attacked while parked in a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rock Cliff Drive near Polo Green Drive just outside of Martinsburg.
An argument between the victims and the defendants began in the parking lot of Brickhouse Bar & Grill prior to the attack, witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.
Grantham of Martinsburg, had been released from jail on a $100,000 bond. He was being monitored by a GPS navigation device.
Wilkes noted that a report from the judicial circuit’s probation office indicated the defendant had traveled to places, including a number of restaurants and other businesses, where he was not supposed to be.
Wilkes told defense attorney Sherman L. Lambert Sr. that he still could file a motion to reinstate Grantham’s bond after Lambert indicated he had little time to review the probation office’s report.
Attorney Christopher J. Prezioso is representing Cross, who has been incarcerated since being arrested shortly after Jackson’s death.
In a subsequent arraignment hearing on Monday, Wilkes also scheduled a May 1 trial for the two men charged in the May 2011 death of Vickie E. Clem.
Joshua L. Stitley, 33, of Hancock and Roy L. Wisotzkey, 34, of Hagerstown, who appeared before Wilkes in jail orange on Monday for arraignment, were indicted last month on counts of murder, felony murder, attempted murder, malicious assault, burglary, conspiracy and two counts of assault during the commission of a felony and two counts of first-degree robbery.
Stitley, Clem’s son, also was indicted on counts of fleeing while driving under the influence from a law-enforcement officer and fraudulent use of an access device, according to the indictments.
Both men are being held in jail without bond. Attorneys Robert C. Stone Jr. and Prezioso are representing Stitley and Wisotzkey, respectively.
In addition to being accused of Clem’s death, the defendants allegedly stabbed her husband at the couple’s Falling Waters, W.Va., area home at 81 Vinca Lane in Potomac Heights subdivision, police have said.
The men intended to burglarize the house, and Vickie Clem was struck with a baseball bat and stabbed with a knife, according to court documents.
In a third homicide case, Wilkes on Monday was unable to arraign a man charged in the March 6 shooting death of 26-year-old Geronimo Garcia-Cruz because the defendant is in federal custody, officials said.
Jonathan F. Bennett, 40, was indicted last month on single counts of murder and felony murder, conspiracy, malicious assault, assault during the commission of felony and three counts of first-degree attempted robbery, according to the indictment.
Bennett, of Charlottesville, Va., is accused of shooting Garcia-Cruz of Winchester, Va., at Suncrest Apartments south of Martinsburg in an attempt to rob him and two other men.
Bennett, aka “Water,” was sentenced to 30 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg after he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of crack cocaine, according to court documents.
Games-Neely said her office will ask federal authorities to allow Bennett to be transferred to state’s custody to be prosecuted for the murder of Garcia-Cruz and related charges.
The prosecution of Bennett might have to wait until he serves his federal sentence, Games-Neely said.