County man hospitalized after break-in turns violent Friday

Police have charged one local man and issued an arrest warrant for another after a break-in Friday morning that turned violent and sent a Berkeley Springs man to the hospital with a skull fracture.

Sheriff K.C. Bohrer has charged John Barber, 48, of Fairbee Lane, Berkeley Springs with multiple felonies related to the early morning incident, including burglary, assault during the commission of a felony, robbery, entering without breaking, malicious wounding and conspiracy.

Barber was taken into custody by Sheriff’s deputies who had responded to the scene of a home invasion on Sticky Kline Road. Officers included Cpl. K. Barney, Cpl L. Shambaugh and Deputy Hustler.According to a complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, officers determined that today, May 7, between 6:30 and 7 a.m., a white man had pushed his way into the residence and demanded money from the victim, identified by police as Mark Lutman. Witnesses told police that the man who entered the home, later identified as Barber, had a wooden axe handle and began to hit the victim with it. Another white male entered the residence from the back door wearing a mask, the police complaint says.

Lutman and his mother were struck multiple times with the axe handle. Police were told that at one point during the altercation, Lutman’s mother got a rifle to defend herself and her son, and that gun was discharged multiple times inside the residence. During the physical altercation, both victims were injured as was Barber. Two other females were in the house but were uninjured during the incident.

Lutman was transported to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of extensive injuries, including a skull fracture. His mother was transported for treatment to War Memorial Hospital. Police found her with blood on her head, glasses and clothing.

After interviewing victims at the crime scene, deputies traveled to Barber’s residence and took him into custody. He allegedly admitted he had traveled to the Lutman residence in the early morning to collect money he said was owed to him. Barber was bleeding profusely at the time deputies made contact with him. He was transported to War Memorial Hospital for treatment and was later arraigned in Morgan County Magistrate Court. Barber is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the second suspect in the incident. Police continue to investigate the case.