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2 face murder charge after body found in Kanawha River, near Magic Island

By Caitlin Cook, Staff writer and David Gutman

Two men were charged with murder and a woman was charged with being an accessory, after a body was found in the Kanawha River near Magic Island Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Harriman, 19, and John Michael Thurmond, 27, both of Charleston, were charged with first-degree murder in Kanawha County Magistrate Court Saturday night. They both face possible life in prison and are being held without bail.

Erica Lynn Cogar, 21, of Sissonville, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. She is being held pending $100,000 cash-only bail.

Martin Allen Snodgrass, 51, was found in shallow water under the interstate bridge in Charleston on Saturday, dead of what appeared to be blunt force trauma, according to the criminal complaint.

Snodgrass had allegedly attempted to sell Cogar, identified in the complaint as Cougar, marijuana. Cogar allegedly told officers that while Snodgrass was showing her the marijuana he had rubbed her shoulder and ripped her shirt, at which point she ran and yelled for help.

At this point, the complaint states, Thurmond, Cogar’s boyfiend, attacked Snodgrass. Harriman allegedly told officers that he jumped into the fight after Snodgrass fought back against Thurmond. Thurmond allegedly hit Snodgrass several times while Snodgrass was on the ground, possibly with a cast that was on his right hand.

Harriman kicked Snodgrass in the head several times, the complaint states.

Harriman allegedly told officers that Snodgrass’ breathing was “raspy” and that Thurmond then searched his pockets before throwing him in the river.

Cogar allegedly helped Thurmond remove and hide bloody bandages from his cast after the incident.

All three defendants planned in advance on filing a false police report, according to the complaint.

Thurmond said at his arraignment Saturday night that he has four children in Charleston. Cogar cried at her arraignment, telling the magistrate about her 3-year-old child.

She faces up to one year in jail.

Snodgrass was last seen alive late Friday evening collecting aluminum cans in the area, according to police. Lt. Steve Cooper, chief detective for the Charleston Police Department, said Snodgrass was reported missing after he failed to show up for work Saturday.

He was a longtime employee of the Bob Evans restaurant in Kanawha City.

All three defendants will return to court July 15.

Reach Caitlin Cook

at caitlin.cook@wvgazette.com

or 304-348-5113.

Reach David Gutman

at david.gutman@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.


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