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No bond for suspect in Parkersburg murder

Murder suspect Victor Thompson, right, listens as Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure, standing, speaks during a bond hearing Thursday in Circuit Court. Judge Jason Wharton ordered Thompson held without bond. (Photo by Candice Black)

PARKERSBURG — A judge denied bond Thursday for the suspect accused of shooting and killing a man at a Parkersburg residence on May 30.

Victor Lee Thompson, 43, of 906 1/2 Tygart St., Parkersburg, is in custody at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County and appeared Thursday in Wood County Circuit Court. He was arrested Sunday in Ritchie County following a week-long manhunt.

During the bond hearing, Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said Thompson went to 4420 17th Ave., Parkersburg, on May 30, to collect a debt involving shoes belonging to his girlfriend. There may also have been a disagreement involving a drug transaction, he said.

A few hours later, Thompson returned to the residence and allegedly pistol-whipped a woman, then fired a single shot through a curtain divider, striking Darren Jimmie Salaam, 36, of Akron, Ohio, Lefebure said.

“He (Salaam) was able to get out of the house and ultimately succumbed to his injuries later that day,” Lefebure said.

Citing the severity of the crime and the amount of time it took to apprehend Thompson, Lefebure asked Judge Jason Wharton not to grant bond. He also pointed to Thompson’s criminal history, with prior felony convictions for operating a methamphetamine lab, unlawful assault, third-offense driving under the influence and uttering between 2003 and 2014.

Lefebure noted the victim was Black and said Thompson made racial remarks when arrested, including telling a Ritchie County Sheriff’s deputy “white people need to stick together.”

“The defendant himself has ties to the Aryan Brotherhood,” the prosecutor said.

Thompson’s attorney, Beth Lebow, said the remarks are allegations at this point and argued his felonies were not recent crimes. She did not deny Thompson shot Salaam but said he did not initially know the other man was in the house and thought he might also be armed.

“When he (Thompson) left the scene, the individual was still alive,” Lebow said.

Lebow asked Wharton to grant a reasonable bond.

Wharton denied bond, saying, “the court does believe Mr. Thompson is a flight risk.”

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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