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Wood County murder trials slated for summer

PARKERSBURG — A couple of murder trials have been scheduled this summer and another one could be resolved through a plea.

Trials are scheduled in August for Hillary Paige Dennison and for Victor Lee Thompson, Rhonda Bay and Vincent Cross.

Joshua Emery Greene has pleaded and will be sentenced in July.

Greene, 37, of 809 Edgelawn St., Parkersburg, has pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the February 2019 death of Jason Tefft, 42, with whom he shared a residence.

Greene, in custody at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County, is set to be sentenced by Wood County Circuit Court Judge J.D. Beane at 10:30 a.m. July 7. A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.

The criminal complaint alleges Tefft and Greene were seen on the front porch of Greene’s residence on Feb. 14, 2019, in the early evening hours. Greene allegedly struck Tefft in the face and head and Tefft did not defend himself, the complaint said.

The complaint further alleges that later that same night Greene and a second individual had left the residence and later returned. Greene had discovered that his bed had been urinated on by Tefft, the complaint said.

Sometime the next evening, Greene had allegedly struck Tefft in the face while he was asleep in bed. Greene allegedly dragged the victim out of the bedroom and into the hallway and again Greene struck the victim in the face, the complaint said .

A witness stated that at that time, blood began to pour from the victim’s mouth, records said. A second witness stated Greene delivered several closed fist strikes to the victim’s head and chest as well as kicking the victim, records said.

The beating resulted in the victim receiving a severe brain injury described as massive brain shift and bleeding around his brain, records said.

The complaint said Tefft was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center and put on breathing machines. He was later declared brain dead. An autopsy performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston listed cause of death was from a subdural hematoma to the right and left hemisphere of the brain which was caused by severe head trauma.

Dennison, 28, Williamstown, is scheduled to go to trial before Wood County Circuit Judge Robert Waters on Aug. 15

Motions are due July 11 with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. July 28. A suppression hearing will be held June 16.

On Feb. 28, 2021, Dennison was arrested for shooting and killing her father, Harold Dennison, and Beau Wasmer, believed to be her fiancee.

Hillary Dennison admitted to a detective that she had “fired a gun intentionally at Harold Dennison which subsequently killed both victims,” according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

Harold Dennison was pronounced dead at the scene and Wasmer died shortly after being taken for medical care.

Hillary Dennison was indicted on two counts of murder and possession of controlled substance.

She is being held at North Central Regional Jail.

Thompson, Bay and Cross are scheduled to go to trial before Judge Jason Wharton Aug. 29. Motions are due to the court by July 15.

Thompson, 44, in custody at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County, was indicted on two counts of murder and one count of burglary after allegedly shooting and killing Darren Jimmie Salaam, 36, of Akron, in May 2021.

Rhonda Bay, 35, Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, and Vincent Cross, 51, Staunton Avenue, Parkersburg, were indicted for accessory after the fact to murder.

Thompson allegedly went to a residence on 17th Avenue in Parkersburg to collect a debt and there may have been a disagreement involving a drug transaction before he shot Salaam through a curtain divider, prosecutors said during a bond hearing in 2021. Thompson was arrested in Ritchie County after a weeklong manhunt.

Thompson’s criminal history, includes prior felony convictions for operating a methamphetamine lab, unlawful assault, third-offense driving under the influence and uttering between 2003 and 2014, prosecutors previously said, adding he also had ties to the Aryan Brotherhood.

Bay is also listed being held at the North Central Regional Jail. Cross was released on $100,000 bond and placed on home confinement.

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