Rachel BaldwinCivitas News Service
June 18, 2013
HUNTINGTON — Flanked by officers with a special high-risk transport team from the South Central Regional Jail, accused killer Tennis Maynard, who has been charged and indicted with the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, was brought into a Cabell County Courtroom for his official bond request hearing.
Maynard is accused of firing two shots from a handgun at close range on April 3rd that claimed the life of the former sheriff. He then allegedly fled the scene after making threatening gestures at an eye witness to the murder before he fled toward his home in Ragland. The defendant was located by Mingo County Sheriff Corporal Norman Mines while traveling through Delbarton, who used a collision technique to stop Maynard from fleeing. Upon making contact with the defendant, he reportedly pointed the murder weapon at the deputy who fired upon him, striking him numerous times. Maynard was air-lifted to the Cabell Huntington Hospital where he remained for approximately 6 weeks before being released to the custody of the Western Regional Jail.
An arraignment hearing was held in May and the defendant entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him. He was remanded to the jail where he has been held without bond in the medical infirmary of the detention center and is still undergoing medical treatment for his injuries.
A bond hearing was held before Circuit Court Judge Paul Ferrell, who was appointed to hear the case after Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury recused himself due to his close friendship with Crum. Attorneys for the defendant, Rich Weston and Glen Conway gave an opening statement as to why they felt Maynard deserved to be released from jail on bond, but their motion was quickly denied after Judge Ferrell heard from the prosecutor, C. Michael Sparks.
“Your honor, we are requesting that a reasonable bond be set in this case,” stated Conway. “We feel that this was not a premeditated crime, Mr. Maynard had no criminal history whatsoever before this occurred. He is not a flight risk.”
Prosecutor Sparks, however; painted a different picture of the defendant. He commented on the fact that he allegedly shot the sheriff in broad daylight in a public parking lot, made threatening gestures to an eye witness and then proceeded to flee. He reportedly pulled the same gun used to shoot Crum twice in the head on Corporal Mines before he was fired upon by the officer.
“He fled the scene at a high rate of speed with a total disregard for public safety,” said Sparks. “He was in possession of manufactured marijuana. He had a small arsenal at his residence with a great portion of those guns being acquired after he was diagnosed with a mental illness that prevents him from owning or carrying a gun. There is currently a federal investigation into this matter.”
“We are concerned for the safety of the public, of Sheriff Crum’s family, and for the defendant himself.”
Judge Ferrell ruled that Maynard will remain behind bars without bond.
Other matters were discussed that included the need to acquire further medical records for the defendant that are connected to this manner and the defense attorney stated that they are also reviewing all medical records for their client before they reach a decision as to whether to ask for a mental evaluation and competency hearing for Maynard.
Maynard, who looked to be in better physical condition than when he appeared in court for his arraignment hearing, was quickly whisked away as soon as the Judge exited the bench. Questions were addressed to Sparks and to Rosie Crum, the widow of the slain sheriff who was appointed to serve in his position, as to their feelings concerning the bond hearing and of the defendant.
“Mingo County is still in a healing process, this was a very extraordinary, traumatic event,” said Sparks. “There have been many adjustments that have been required on the sheriff’s department and other county officials. It hasn’t been easy on anyone but we are moving forward.”
Sparks commented that Drug Force Commandeer C.D. Rockel remains at the helm with the drug related investigations in the county and has his full support, as well as that of the sheriff.
“As far as the bond goes, Judge Ferrell made an accurate and solid decision today that’s best for everyone involved,” said the prosecutor. “Emotions are still running high in our local communities.”
Sheriff Crum spoke of the tragic loss of her husband, and stated that Maynard took the love of her life away the day he delivered the fatal shots.
“He murdered my husband for no reason,” Crum said with a voice filled with emotion. “He took my world. He robbed my children and grandchildren of having a father and a grandfather there for them like he always was. He tore apart our family and left a hole that will never be filled.”
“I’m relieved that he was not granted bond,” said the sheriff. “I feel a certain amount of peace knowing that he will remain locked up.”
Crum stated that even though she stares at an empty chair at her home where her husband used to sit and swims in their pool that he loved to relax in, she finds comfort there because she can feel his presence around her.
“He’s watching over me, I know that. I can feel him wherever I go. He will always be my guardian angel.”
Crum stated that her department is continuing the drug investigations started by her late husband that is known as “Operation Zero Tolerance.”
“My husband’s words still ring true in our county,” remarked Crum. “If you deal drugs, expect a knock on your door.”
A status hearing in this case has been scheduled for August 15th at 1:30 p.m. in the Cabell County Courthouse.