After the shooting, many residents wondered if Crum's slaying was connected to his hard stance against prescription drugs.
Crum, who stepped down as Mingo County's chief magistrate to seek the sheriff's office last year, ran on a platform promising to tackle the county's prescription pill epidemic like never before. He attributed most of the county's crimes to the widespread illegal pill trade. Crum said he believed the addiction problem would eventually dry up if police went after area drug dealers.
Even before that, Williamson police appointed Crum to target the illegal pill trade as a special investigator.
Mingo County Commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith said he was "heartbroken" to learn of the allegations against Crum.
"That's not the sheriff that I knew," Greg Smith said. "The sheriff I knew had strong desire to rid our county of such drugs."
He described Crum as a close personal friend. He had never known Crum to use drugs, he said.
Williamson resident Ance Gillman Jr. said he'd heard rumors about Crum, but never believed them until Thursday.
He wondered if he could trust anyone in the Mingo County courthouse again.
"They are going to have to clean out the whole courthouse," he said.
Ashley Newsome of Williamson said she went before Thornsbury for a custody hearing earlier this summer. She said Crum had arrested her baby's father for late child support payments, even though they weren't late.
"It's sad to say, even if people got together and stood up against people in the courthouse, we feel like there's nothing we could do," Newsome said.
After Crum's death, Mingo County authorities promised to continue Crum's work in ending the illegal pill trade.
Two college scholarships at Mingo County Central High School were named after him. A memorial fund was created to benefit his wife and children. County officials organized several fundraising events to benefit that fund.
The Mingo County STOP Coalition, which operates county drug treatment programs, said it would name a new facility in Matewan the "Eugene Crum Memorial Complex."
Sparks, the county prosecutor, has said Crum's slaying is not connected to drugs. Relatives of Maynard, the sheriff's alleged killer, have said Crum sexually assaulted Maynard. Crum was Maynard's boxing coach when Maynard was 15. Sparks said investigators looked into the allegations and found no evidence of sexual assault.
As part of the Maynard case, Sparks previously disclosed potential evidence of a State Police report from 2002 in connection to the alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman.Crum, who was Delbarton police chief at the time, had sex with the woman in the back seat of a city police cruiser. The woman later went to a hospital and complained of injuries related to a sexual assault. Police noted that her blood alcohol content was about four times the legal limit at that time in West Virginia. Crum said the sex was consensual, and a State Police trooper came to the same conclusion.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.