WILLIAMSON — A press conference was held on the Mingo County Courthouse steps Thursday afternoon to provide an update in the murder investigation of Sheriff Eugene Crum who was fatally shot at point blank range in broad daylight on Wednesday, and to announce the County Commission’s decision as to who would be named as the interim sheriff for the remainder of his term which expires at the end of 2016.
Rosie Crum, the widow of the slain sheriff, was unanimously appointed to fill the remainder of the term left vacant by her husband’s tragic death by the three members of the county commission, and will be sworn into office by Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury during the candlelight vigil planned for 8 p.m., next to the courthouse in Williamson. The 4 year term with 3 years and 9 months remaining is set to expire at the end of 2016.
Emergency Services Director Jerrod Fletcher opened the press conference, and prayer was said by the Rev. Billy Baisden.
“It’s quite obvious to everyone in Mingo County that the last 26 hours have been a very hard time for all of us,” said Commission President John Mark Hubbard. “We want to thank everyone who has said a prayer for the family of Sheriff Eugene Crum, as well as for his friends and co-workers.”
A prepared statement from Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney C. Michael Sparks, who is currently out of town, was read to those who attended the press conference and expressed the prosecutor’s feelings on the senseless, tragic death of Sheriff Crum, and the great loss that has been thrust upon the county.
“We lost a dedicated officer, a passionate enforcer of the law,” stated Sparks in his written comments. “For 93 days, Sheriff Crum led this county and has left behind a legacy filled with many accomplishments. He lit a spark that will never be extinguished.”
Drug Task Force Commander C.D. Rockel announced that the alleged shooter, Tennis Maynard, remains a patient in the Cabell Huntington Hospital after being shot by a law enforcement officer, and has been charged with 1st degree murder by the Williamson Police Department for the murder of Sheriff Crum and one count of attempted murder of a police officer by the West Virginia State Police. The defendant is said to have pointed a handgun at the deputy in a threatening and confrontational manner and then was fired upon.
The funeral service for Sheriff Crum is scheduled for this Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. inside the Mingo Central High School gymnasium and visitation will be from 4 to 10 p.m. at the school on Saturday evening. If you need further information, you are asked to contact the County Commission office at 304-235-0380.