Darrell Wesley Hazelwood

PRINCETON — Bond was reduced Friday for a man who was charged with first-degree murder after the Aug. 10 shooting death of a Princeton woman outside her home.

Darrell Wesley Hazelwood, 47, of Princeton was brought before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope for a bond hearing. Hazelwood was arrested and later charged with first-degree murder after death of Tessa Hill outside her Murdock Street home near Princeton.

Swope asked during Friday’s hearing about Hazelwood’s current bond, which was a $500,000 surety bond with a condition of home confinement. Hazelwood’s attorney, Joe Harvey, asked Swope to reduce the bond to $50,000 surety with home confinement.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis said Hazelwood came to Hill’s residence, which is actually her father’s house, and confronted her. Investigators believe the resulting altercation was over money. Hill’s boyfriend jumped on Hazelwood when he assaulted Hill. Then Hill’s father pulled the boyfriend off Hazelwood.

Hazelwood then pulled out a small handgun, chambered a round, fired at the boyfriend and missed, McGinnis said. He then shot Hill and left the scene on foot. The weapon has not been recovered.

McGinnis said Hazelwood’s home was a short distance from the crime scene.

“The family is terrified of the prospect of him being back in the neighborhood,” he stated. “They were eyewitnesses and the weapon has not been recovered. That weapon is still out there.”

Harvey said Hazelwood could stay with a relative who lives “a good ways away” from the Murdock Street neighborhood.

“We don’t want to put him back in the middle of that place any more than they want to,” he stated.

Swope reduced Hazelwood’s bond to $250,000 surety with the condition of home confinement if he is released, adding, “but I’m not going to reduce it below that.”

Hazelwood was remanded to the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver. He was previously held at the Central Regional Jail. Swope was informed that one of the victim’s relatives, who had been at Southern Regional, had been transferred to a state prison.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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