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Mental health records, guns among state's evidence in Mingo sheriff murder trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Prosecutors may present mental health records from three West Virginia hospitals in a case against a man accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum in April.

Mingo County prosecutor C. Michael Sparks disclosed a list of evidence last week in a first-degree murder trial against Tennis Melvin Maynard, tentatively set for Oct. 21.

Police believe Maynard, 33, of Delbarton, shot Crum from close range with .40-caliber Glock pistol as Crum sat in his car eating lunch in Williamson on April 3. Police have not speculated on an alleged motive. Crum was Maynard's boxing coach when Maynard was 15.

The state collected orders of involuntary hospitalizations from Williamson Memorial Hospital, Logan-Mingo Mental Health Clinic and Highland Hospital in Charleston, the evidence shows. It also collected medical records from Dr. Sujata R. Gutti, a neurologist from Pikeville, Ky., and a patient profile from the State Board of Pharmacy.

Maynard's father told The Associated Press in April that his son suffered from an unknown mental illness attributed to exposure to harmful chemicals and injuries while at an Alabama mine in 2007 and had been institutionalized.

Federal authorities have said Maynard lied on three gun background check forms about being committed to a mental institution. Maynard was able to buy three guns in 2010 -- including a .40-caliber Glock pistol -- but was denied a gun purchase twice in 2011, after the state began reporting mental health records to the federal government.

After a search of Maynard's home in April, police recovered an undisclosed number of guns inside the home belonging to Maynard and his father. They also seized instruction manuals for a Marlin Model bolt-action rifle and for a Bushnell Sharpshooter riflescope, the evidence shows.

Police previously said they confiscated the .40-caliber Glock pistol allegedly used in the shooting, as well as a .380-caliber Walther pistol and a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol from inside Maynard's truck.

Maynard allegedly fled after the shooting to Delbarton, where police said he pointed a gun at Mingo Sheriff's Deputy Norman Mines. Mines opened fire, striking Maynard several times. Maynard also is charged with attempted murder for allegedly pointing a gun at Mines.

The state has a recorded interview with Mines and with Gary Estep Jr., one of a few witnesses to the shooting and the first to call 911. Estep snapped a photo of Maynard's truck and license plate after Maynard confronted him and drove off. Estep, of Ragland, declined to discuss the exchange with Maynard when reached by phone in April.

Sparks also may present a police interview with Maynard and two interviews with Maynard's mother, Olga. The state also has Maynard's cellphone records and Internet history.

Also among the disclosed evidence are receipts and security footage from Walmart, Long John Silver's, Food City Grocery and Fast Lane Convenience Store in South Williamson, Ky.

Richard Weston, Maynard's attorney, said his client had gone food shopping at a Walmart, and had groceries with him when he was stopped by law enforcement.

Sparks said he's compiled two boxes of files for discovery to mail to Weston. Weston said he had not received the boxes and would be out of town until Monday.  Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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