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Sissonville man pleads not guilty to murder charge

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Sissonville man charged with murder pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Dale Thomas Newhouse, 55, faces the charge in connection with the Sept. 27 shooting of James "Jamie" Bryan Shaffer, 41, of Sissonville Drive.

Judge Jennifer Bailey wouldn't set bond and release Newhouse to home confinement, as his attorney requested. His trial was set for July 29.

Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Michele Drummond told the judge a witness would testify during the trial and say Newhouse had been arguing with Shaffer before the shooting.

Drummond told Bailey the witness would also say that Newhouse fired a shot at Shaffer while he was lying on the floor.

However, Bill Forbes, Newhouse's attorney, said Shaffer had "threatened to kill" Newhouse and that Newhouse was acting in self-defense.

According to Kanawha County sheriff's deputies, Shaffer called 911 to report that Newhouse had shot him. Shaffer told an emergency dispatcher that Newhouse was standing over him with a 9 mm handgun.

Newhouse was standing outside waiting for deputies when they arrived on the scene, while Shaffer was inside with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, deputies said at the time. A 32-year-old woman also was inside the home.

Shaffer was taken to CAMC General Hospital and later died of his wounds.

Newhouse was previously arrested and charged with malicious wounding in the shooting of a woman in December 2008, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. That charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence, according to court records.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.


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