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Scott Depot man sentenced to 15 years for murdering brother

By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

WINFIELD -- A Scott Depot man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for stabbing his brother to death on their parents’ front porch.

Jonathan Facemyre, 26, of Thomas Drive, pleaded guilty on July 3 to second-degree murder in the August 2013 death of Michael Facemyre, 36. The charge carried a maximum 40-year sentence. With time already served and good behavior, he could be released in less than seven years.

The brothers lived together and had a long history of fighting each other. Michael Facemyre had numerous domestic violence charges, and his brother had two or three on his record, said Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia.

In court Thursday, their father, James Facemyre, and Jonathan Facemyre’s attorney, Herb Hively, requested the minimum sentence of 10 years, suggesting the killing was in reaction to Michael Facemyre’s violence. James Facemyre, 61, said the killing was nothing like “Cain and Abel” and said Michael Facemyre had a terrible drinking problem and was usually the one beating up his brother.

“He was always violent toward his brother and the rest of the family, but mostly to himself,” James Facemyre said. “He just hadn’t found himself yet.”

Neighbors Sam and Jeanine Carpenter, who said they’ve known Jonathan Facemyre since he was a young boy, said he wasn’t violent and requested a light sentence.

“Unfortunately, we did see a different side out of Michael,” Sam Carpenter said.

Putnam Circuit Judge Joseph Reeder said Michael Facemyre now has no chance to turn his life around like his brother.

“In the society that we live in, it’s just not acceptable to solve our differences ... at the end of the knife,” Reeder said, before sentencing Jonathan Facemyre to 15 years, with more than a year already served. Facemyre told his family he loved them before being led away from the courtroom.

He’ll be eligible for parole in nine years, and Hively said he could get out in around six-and-a-half years with good behavior.

Sorsaia has said prosecutors agreed not to pursue a first-degree murder charge after Facemyre’s family said they opposed it. If the case had gone to trial, the defense might have also been able to argue for a lesser charge, voluntary manslaughter, which is generally for intentional killings that occur “in the heat of passion.”

According to an affidavit from Sgt. Lisa Arthur of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, a dispatcher got a call around 1 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2013, from Samantha Facemyre, Jonathan and Michael’s sister. She said, over screaming in the background, that Jonathan had struck Michael, who was bleeding and needed help. In the background a man could be heard saying, “How do you like that, you piece of s---?”

The younger Facemyre told his brother before he died that “I will finish you off if you want me to,” their sister reported. Michael Facemyre was taken to CAMC Teays Valley, where he was pronounced dead.

James Facemyre, a truck driver, said he was in Alabama when the murder occurred. He asked his son Michael to straighten his life out the morning of the incident, before he left for work.

“You’re either going to wind up dead or in jail,” James Facemyre said. “Doggone if it didn’t happen to one of each.”

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.


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