CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County prosecutors will handle the murder trial of former Mingo County sheriff Eugene Crum's alleged killer.
Tennis Maynard, 33, of Delbarton, is accused of gunning down Crum in April as the sheriff sat in his police cruiser in downtown Williamson.
Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks stepped down from the case last week, citing an "emerging conflict of interest." The next day, Sparks was mentioned in a federal charge against Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury.
The executive director of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute, which is responsible for assigning special prosecutors when necessary, said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants accepted the case on Monday.
"They have the people power to do it," said Philip Morrison.
Plants said he and assistant prosecutor Fred Giggenbach would prosecute Maynard.
"The only decision was if we had a conflict of interest and we don't have any conflicts," Plants said at a news conference Tuesday.
Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell will preside over the trial in Williamson, which is set to begin Dec. 9.
Plants said he has requested court files from Sparks and will review evidence and meet with potential witnesses before deciding if the December date is feasible.
"We will move forward with the prosecution as soon as possible," he said.