West Virginia Man, Girlfriend Charged With Killing His Stepfather


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KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man and his girlfriend have been charged with killing the man’s stepfather, authorities said.


Zachary Craig Saunders and Stephanie Michelle Heath, both 34, were charged Wednesday with murder in the death of John Uphold and jailed without bond, The Dominion Post reported, citing the Preston County Sheriff’s Department.

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Saunders told Sheriff’s Capt. T. N. Tichnell on March 8 that his mother and stepfather were trying to kill him and he thought he would end up killing Uphold, according to a criminal report from the Preston County Magistrates Court. Tichnell thought Saunders needed to be evaluated for a mental health disorder, the report said.


The next day, deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive person lying in a pool of blood and found Uphold, who was pronounced dead at the scene. He died of multiple blows to the head, according to an autopsy report.

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An investigation determined Saunders and Heath were responsible for the death, the sheriff’s office said.


Online jail records don’t list an attorney for either of them.

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