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Murder suspect's brother threatened witnesses, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police said a Charleston man threatened to kill a couple and their children before the adults could testify against his brother in an upcoming murder trial.

Tremain Deon Straughter, 32, of Charleston, was charged with stalking and intimidating a witness on Monday.

Police said Straughter parked outside of the couple's apartment on Midland Drive and yelled at them multiple times in June, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Straughter then posted a threat against the man on Facebook, police said.

The couple saw Straughter's brother, Tremale, shoot and kill Harold Donovan "Don Don" Taylor Jr., 29, on Feb. 14 in Rand, according to the complaint.

Tremale Straughter, 29, was indicted June 6 on a charge of first-degree murder.

On June 28, the woman in the complaint told Kanawha sheriff's deputies that Tremain Straughter threatened her and her husband in front of their three young children. Straughter allegedly said he would "do something if they didn't keep their mouths shut."

About two weeks later, Tremain Straughter came to the couple's apartment and kicked and punched their front door, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Straughter said, "[Y]ou guys are trying to lock my brother up for life that's why I'm going to put a bullet in both of your [expletive] heads and snap your kid's necks and hang them."

The woman said Straughter pounded on their door for about 25 minutes, according to the complaint.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Detective S.D. Ferrell said Tremain Straughter threatened the woman's husband on Facebook on June 28.

Straughter later wrote on his own Facebook profile that the man's friends should "tell him to report to me before I see him," according to the complaint.

Tremain Straughter was in South Central Regional Jail on Monday in lieu of a $75,000 cash-only bail. His brother remained there Monday as well, awaiting trial on the murder charge.

Police say Tremale Straughter fatally shot Taylor around 4:45 a.m. Feb. 14 on Emory Avenue in Rand. Witnesses said Tremale Straughter fired multiple shots at Taylor, his lifelong friend, from inside a car before driving around the block and firing more shots, according to a criminal complaint.

Tremain Straughter, along with his cousin and Taylor, were charged with first-degree murder in 2001 for robbing and gunning down Gary "Gino" McGee, 21.

Tremain Straughter and his cousin were later acquitted in separate trials. Taylor, who was 17 when he was arrested, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery. He earned parole because of time served and spent about a year behind bars.

The Straughter brothers have had numerous brushes with the law. They each served four years in federal prison on crack cocaine charges.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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