W.Va. police search for evidence in 2003 slayings

AP News
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Posted: Apr 09, 2011 11:34 AM
W.Va. police search for evidence in 2003 slayings

Police continue to search for evidence related to the 2003 sniper-style slayings outside three convenience stores that terrorized residents in Kanawha County.

The Charleston Gazette reports that authorities believed they might find the murder weapon, truck and other material at a property near Sissonville.

Police were searching for a Dodge pickup, a .22-caliber rifle and other materials that might be linked to the shootings, according to a copy of the sealed warrant provided to the newspaper on Friday by Charleston attorney Mike Clifford. He is representing Sandra Shaffer, who owns the property where the search was conducted.

Digging had been going on for more than a week and excavation stopped at the property Wednesday.

According to the returned warrant, police did not confiscate the truck connected to the sniper shooting, but they did confiscate numerous firearms, chainsaws, a stamp collection and a baseball card collection.

Last week police arrested 35-year-old Shawn Lester in connection to the death of 31-year-old Jeanie Patton in August 2003.

Lester allegedly stayed with the Shaffers after the 2003 shootings, according a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Investigators have said Patton was one of three people who were fatally shot with the same 22-caliber rifle. No charges have been filed in the other shootings.

The 2003 shootings terrorized the Kanawha Valley as they seemed to involve strangers killed randomly.

Gary Carrier Jr., 44, was killed on Aug. 10 while talking on a pay phone outside a Charleston Go-Mart store. Four days later, Patton and Okey Meadows Jr., 26, were shot within 90 minutes of each other at convenience stores about 10 miles apart.

Meadows was buying milk at a pay window in Cedar Grove, while Patton was filling her car with gas in Campbells Creek, both southeast of Charleston.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com