2017-10-18 / Front Page

Judge grants second delay in Shute trial

by Kate Shunney

The trial of a man accused of killing three men in Great Cacapon last June has been delayed for a second time.

Erick Shute, 34, of Great Cacapon was set to go on trial on October 30 to face multiple felony charges stemming from the shooting deaths of Jack Douglas, Travis Bartley and Willie Bartley on June 13, 2016.

During a court hearing on October 3, Circuit Court Judge Laura Faircloth granted a request from Prosecuting Attorney Dan James to delay the trial until April of 2018.

Shute was indicted by a Morgan County Grand Jury in January of this year on three counts of murder, wanton endangerment, attempted first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He has been held without bond at the Eastern Regional Jail since June of 2016. Initially, his trial was set to begin in July of this year.

Shute is accused of shooting the three men, who were distant neighbors , as they arrived at a property next to his residence in the Valley High Timber Farms subdivision. Police believe Shute used a military-style rifle to fire at the men from his own property. He is accused of attempting to kill a fourth man, who escaped the scene and called 911.

Following the shooting, police from around the region engaged in an 8-hour manhunt for Shute, who was finally arrested in Pennsylvania.

Shute has maintained that the shooting was an act of self-defense, despite a lack of weapons in and around the victims’ vehicle and bodies.

Shute’s trial is set to begin on April 9, 2018 in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Return to top