The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Latest News

March 30, 2013

Murder trial moved to Raleigh

Family ties cited

— A 60-year-old murder suspect’s trial has been moved from Mercer to Raleigh County and will be held Oct. 15 before specially appointed Judge John S. Hrko.

Gerald Wayne Little, of Wyoming County, was charged with the first-degree murder of Jerry Buckner, 57, in March 2012.

Buckner was found dead at his Honaker Avenue residence in Princeton. Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash reported that Buckner died from stab wounds to the neck.

Sgt. J.W. Howell told The Bluefield Daily Telegraph that Little had completed a few odd jobs for Buckner and he was living on property owned by Buckner.

Howell said Little was planning to rob Buckner at his home on Honaker Avenue and forensic evidence led police to file charges against Little.

After two motions, one disqualifying Ash from the case because relatives of the victim work in his office, and another request for a change of venue due to familial kinship of a circuit clerk, the case has been moved to Raleigh County Circuit Court.

Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller was assigned to handle the prosecution. Little is being represented by Michael Gibson.

During the status conference Thursday, Judge Hrko scheduled a pre-trial motions hearing Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. and a jury trial for Oct. 15, which was noted to be the earliest the Raleigh County court would be available.

Keller explained that being appointed the special prosecutor of a case outside her jurisdiction was no different than handling one in Raleigh County.

“I will handle it as if it had arisen in our own home county.”

In addition to this murder charge, in April 2006, Little was charged with the first-degree murder of his brother, Daniel Lynn Little, 49, of Itmann, who was found beaten to death in September 2005.

Daniel Little’s body was found Sept. 20, 2005, and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department investigators reported they believed the victim may have been dead up to two days when he was discovered.

Gerald Little lived in Beckley at the time and was later arrested.

While released on $20,000 bond in that murder case, Little was arrested on charges of kidnapping, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual abuse after allegedly luring his ex-girlfriend into his car, choking her until she was unconscious and then making sexual contact with her while she was unconscious.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful wounding and first-degree sexual abuse on the sex crimes charge.

He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the murder trial involving his brother’s death and was sentenced to serve 10 years.

Little is currently being held without bond at Southern Regional Jail.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.


    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in state

    Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.

    July 31, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014

  • legion American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers? Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo