Jul. 1—PRINCETON — A Bluefield person who pleaded responsible to murder and larceny Wednesday was promptly sentenced to 25 yrs in jail following his admission in Mercer County Circuit Court docket.
Christopher Wyatt Bailey, 29, entered the plea before Decide Mark Wills. He was billed with the May well 4, 2019, capturing dying of William Lee Simons, 47, of Tazewell, Va.
Simons’ physique was discovered Could 5, 2019, in close proximity to Dawson School Road, which operates from Airport Street to Littlesburg Highway in the Brushfork space. He had been shot various periods, including two pictures in the arm and into the torso and a single among the shoulder blades into the higher back, in accordance to former stories by West Virginia State Trooper R.L Jones.
Jones responded to the scene of the murder right after obtaining a connect with about an abandoned car or truck. Simons’ system was observed about 150 ft from the car or truck around an embankment.
Bailey was arrested May 7, 2019, and billed with the murder.
During a 2019 preliminary hearing, Trooper Jones testified that Simons appeared to have run from the vehicle and “ran out of his flip-flops.” Eight discharged 9 mm rounds were found in just 10 ft of his physique, and a 9 mm magazine, folding knife and cellphone ended up also observed nearby.
It was later on identified the cellphone belonged to Bailey.
Jones also testified that Simons’ pockets experienced been “turned within out,” which indicated a robbery, and a blood-stained $100 bill was located to have been spent by Bailey at an S&S Categorical on the early morning of May 5.
Bailey’s home was subsequently searched and a Taurus 9 mm handgun was uncovered in his bed room.
Although Bailey was indicted for murder in October 2019, he was identified not qualified to stand trial for the duration of a hearing in November of that yr.
All through that hearing, Mercer County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney David Pfeifer claimed Bailey could get back competency and be introduced again to court docket.
“We despatched him to a psychological wellness facility to see if he can get back competency to stand trial,” Pfeiffer claimed.
—-During Wednesday’s listening to, Judge Wills questioned Bailey about his competency, inquiring if he experienced a record of mental ailment.
“Of course, Your Honor,” Bailey replied. “Bipolar and paranoid schizophrenia.”
Wills questioned if this impacted his plea.
“I never reckon Your Honor,” Bailey responded.
Attired in orange prison garb, all noticeable pieces of Bailey’s system — arms, encounter and fingers — had been included in tattoos. He played with his handcuffs nervously all through the listening to, and at moments rocked back and forth and clenched his arms into fists.
Soon after describing the plea to Bailey, Wills requested him if he was guilty or not responsible.
“Responsible, Your Honor,” Bailey mentioned.
Soon after signing court docket documents, Bailey requested Wills, “Your Honor, will I go dwelling sometime?”
“I can not answer that,” Wills claimed.
Wills later on permitted Bailey to depart the courtroom to confer with his attorneys, Derrick Lefler and Bill Huffman, about the plea and sentence.
Upon their return, Wills all over again questioned Bailey if he continue to required to plead guilty to which Bailey replied, “Indeed.”
Lefler told Wills that whilst Bailey had a mental wellbeing prognosis, “Currently he would seem to be aware and with it.”
“He is able to recognize and talk,” Lefler reported. “Nowadays he is in a posture to make decisions.”
In addition to the murder plea, Bailey also pleaded responsible to grand larceny. The demand stemmed from the theft of a Mercer County woman’s home all through which he stole a television, gaming system, 15 game titles, fidget spinners, a silver wedding day band and a pair of sneakers valued at $90.
At the summary of the hearing, Wills sentenced Bailey to 25 several years in jail for next-diploma murder and a single to 10 a long time for grand larceny, with the sentences to operate concurrently.
Bailey was also purchased to shell out $1,735 in restitution to the theft victim and court docket charges.
The state was represented by Pfeifer and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Krista Ellison.
— Speak to Samantha Perry at [email protected]