DEATH INVESTIGATION: Sgt. W.E. Rose and other deputies responded toward a residence on Coal Heritage Road, where a 63-year-old man was reported unresponsive. As officers were en route, the grandson advised Mercer 911 dispatchers that family members had the victim loaded in a personal vehicle and were transporting him to Bluefield Regional Medical Center, rather than await an ambulance and other emergency responders.
When the family arrived at BRMC, medical officials reported that the patient was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat. He was also reported as being unresponsive to any stimuli. Nurses and a doctor began attempting to resuscitate the patient. Although medical officials did regain a heartbeat and some breathing, the patient was not able to continue on his own.
The patient was pronounced dead at 2:51 a.m.
Upon speaking with the patient’s grandsons, officers learned the patient had been admitted to BRMC just eight hours prior to the incident and had checked himself out earlier in the day.
SHOPLIFTING: Deputy C.K. Lester responded to Walmart in reference to a shoplifting incident. The complainant reported a female had been detained after allegedly concealing merchandise and attempting to return it fraudulently. The complainant reported obtaining a statement from the suspect, which advised she had picked up some toys and muscle milk for her son’s birthday the following day. The “other stuff” was reportedly solely for the suspect, because she felt bad about the way she looked.
“I can’t say much more than it was a big mistake, and losing Walmart privileges breaks my heart, and the other incident with the return money, I just wanted to buy a big cake for my son’s birthday,” the suspect wrote.
The suspect allegedly picked up a DVD and used an old receipt in an attempt to return it at the customer service desk. In total, the officer reported she received a total of $15.75 for the fraudulent return and had concealed 10 different items totaling $60.04. All items were returned the to store.
Shawna Jenkins, 41, of Bluefield, was cited twice for shoplifting.
DUI: While traveling on Mercer Street, Deputy J.S. Bish reported seeing a blue Kia Forte with a South Carolina registration approaching the intersection with Honaker Avenue. The officer reported seeing the light change to red, and the vehicle made a quick right-hand turn, without stopping or using a turn signal. As the vehicle turned, the officer also reported that it made a wide turn, crossing the yellow double line on the driver’s side.
Bish reported watching as the driver corrected and continued toward North Walker Street, but at that intersection, the driver allegedly turned right, again without using a turn signal, and again turning a wide right. At that point, the officer began signaling for a traffic stop.
As he approached the driver’s side window, Bish reported smelling the strong odor of marijuana and observing the driver to have bloodshot, watery eyes, droopy eyelids and appearing very relaxed. The passenger in the car also appeared to have the same characteristics.
The officer asked the driver if he had smoked any marijuana that day, and the driver denied smoking any of the substance. He allegedly refused to take a field sobriety test, stating, “Hell, I will fail.”
When asked why, the driver allegedly stated, “Maybe I did smoke three blunts earlier today.”
The driver then agreed to attempt the field sobriety testing, on which, he allegedly showed impairment on multiple segments.
The driver allegedly reported afterward he had smoked three marijuana “blunts.” On a scale of 1 to 10, on how high he felt, he estimated he was an 8.
Bish then arrested Seth Lafferty, 18, of Princeton, on a charge for DUI-drugs, and took him into custody, while Sgt. W.E. Rose and Cpl. K.M. Saddler arrived at the scene to wait with the juvenile passenger until another adult arrived and until a tow truck could arrive to transport the vehicle.
The driver agreed to a blood draw to test for secondary chemicals in his blood, and Bish transported him to Princeton Community Hospital for the testing. The blood testing reportedly revealed he was impaired by cannabis.
He was processed at the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and transported to the Southern Regional Jail until he could be arraigned.
DUI: Deputy J.S. Bish was traveling on U.S. 460 when he reported approaching the intersection with Ambrose Lane and reported seeing the light was green on the U.S. 460 side and red on the Ambrose Lane side. He then reported seeing a black Ford Escape run the red light from the Ambrose Lane side and travel onto U.S. 460 West at a high rate of speed. The officer caught up to the vehicle as they were crossing the Locust Street intersection at approximately 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.
The officer also noted the vehicle was swerving in the slow lane and straddling the center line. After making the traffic stop, the officer noted the driver exhibited bloodshot, watery eyes, a flushed face, was sweating and had a strong smell of alcoholic beverage. Bish asked the driver why he was in such a hurry, and the driver allegedly said he didn’t realize he was driving so fast, and that he had just left Southern Exposure, where he had been drinking.
The driver reportedly consented to field sobriety testing, on which, he allegedly showed some impairment. Portions of the test were not administered due to recent hip surgery the driver reported.
A preliminary blood alcohol test at the scene reported the driver’s alcohol content to be 0.173, which is over the legal driving limit.
Michael Burnette Crigger, 44, of Pulaski, Va., was arrested on a charge of DUI and transported to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department for processing.
A secondary blood-alcohol content test was later administered, after proper observation, which reported his BAC to be 0.151. Trigger was then transported to Bluefield City Jail for holding, pending arraignment.