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Brother: Slain trooper didn't take job lightly

Courtesy photo
State Police Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey holds his son, Wyatt, during a father-son lookalike contest at last year's Clay County Golden Apple Festival.
Courtesy photo Eric Workman is seen here pitching for West Virginia State University in 2009.
Courtesy photo Trooper Marshall Bailey was a 17-year veteran of the State Police. His brother said he loved to hunt and fish.
Courtesy photo Wounded trooper Eric Workman is shown in this 2009 photograph when he played baseball for West Virginia State University.

For our story about Luke Baber, click here. For our story about the shooting investigation, click here

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey died doing something he loved, his family said Wednesday.

"He's always wanted to be in law enforcement. When we were kids that is all he talked about. He always respected police officers, even when he was little," said Justin Bailey, a doctor in Charleston and the younger brother of Marshall Bailey.

Marshall Bailey, 42, of Poca, was gunned down Tuesday night during a routine traffic stop at the Wallback park and ride in Roane County, near the Clay County line. A second trooper, Eric Michael Workman, Roane County Sheriff's Deputy John Westfall and a local driver of a wrecker truck were also shot by Luke Baber, 22, of Oak Hill, according to police.

Baber was killed in the shootout.

Workman, who enrolled with the State Police in January 2011, was in critical condition at CAMC General Hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

Workman played baseball at West Virginia State University and made the 1st All-Conference team in 2008 and 2009.

During his time at WVSU, he broke various school records and ranks first in games played, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples in school history.

He was also named Player of the Year in 2009 by the West Virginia Conference coaches.

During a news conference Wednesday, State Police Col. Jay Smithers said Workman's condition was "extreme," and he was in a coma and on life-support.

Justin Bailey, 39, said his older brother "was a great guy. I am not just saying that because he was my brother. He was a man of integrity, a man of honesty."

Being a police officer was "a responsibility that [Bailey] didn't take lightly. He knew what law enforcement meant," his brother said Wednesday.

Previous Gazette articles give a glimpse into the work life of the 17-year State Police veteran.

In 1997, Bailey met then-boss, Otis Cox, state secretary of military affairs and public safety, when he responded to a two-vehicle accident where Cox had been run off Interstate 79 in Clay County, according to an article.

In 2005, Bailey investigated what appeared to be a domestic violence murder-suicide in Clay County. 

Last year in mid-May, Bailey was called out to a shooting on Twistabout Road near Procious that stemmed from an argument over an ATV. Bailey found a man lying dead in the road from a gunshot wound. The suspect, Bobby Ray Hanshaw, fled the scene but later called authorities in Clendenin wanting to turn himself in, according to a Gazette article.

Bailey arrested Hanshaw without incident.

Marshall Bailey loved to hunt and fish and spent lots of time outdoors with his younger brother. "There are so many stories about our time together -- I can't pick just one. We were close," Justin Bailey said.

In addition to his brother and parents, Bailey leaves behind three children: Whitney, 22, Lauren, 6, and Wyatt, 4. Bailey recently separated from his second wife.

Justin Bailey said lots of family and friends have been there for his family, but the State Police have been incredibly kind.

"The brotherhood they have is overwhelming. They have been here with us since this happened in large numbers. I think there is a special bond there and it shows with something like this."

Gil Casto, who used to work at a gun shop in Putnam County that Bailey frequented, said although he didn't know the trooper well, "I thought the world of him. He was a really nice guy. He was dedicated to the police force and always seemed like a fair, honest person."

Casto said anytime Bailey would come into the shop, the men would joke around. "He was an all-around nice guy, the type of person you were drawn to and really liked to be around."

Justin Bailey said he never worried about his brother serving in the line of duty.

"I know my brother and know he could always handle himself," he said. "He was one of the most cautious, strongest individuals I've ever known.

"My mom always talked about being worried and getting that phone call in the middle of the night, but I never did. Maybe I was being naïve, but I always thought he could handle himself in any situation. He was a big man.

"I can't speak for [my brother], but I think there is an inherent danger that we civilians take for granted. Any day, something like this could happen," he said.

Reach Kathryn Gregory at kathryng@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.


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