HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A West Virginia man accused of gunning down Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum unsuccessfully sought pretrial release Monday, with defense lawyers arguing he is not a threat to the public because evidence suggests the killing was not random.
"One thing that I think is well-known at this point is that there is some history between the two,'' Richard Weston, a court-appointed lawyer for defendant Tennis Melvin Maynard, said during a brief bail hearing.
Weston did not elaborate while addressing Circuit Judge Paul Farrell. He declined to offer any details afterward, but did cite media reports that Crum had coached Maynard at a local boxing program in the early 1990s when Maynard was a teen.
"It wasn't just a random act,'' Weston told The Associated Press, referring to available evidence. "We're still investigating everything.''
Weston also questioned whether the slaying was planned, given that premeditation is a factor in the first-degree murder count against Maynard, 37.
"My understanding is that Mr. Maynard did get up and go about his business on the morning of the shooting, to indicate that it was not a premeditated act,'' Weston told the judge, who denied bail.
Weston said following the hearing that Maynard had gone food shopping at a Wal-Mart, and had groceries with him when he was stopped by law enforcement.