The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

June 4, 2014

State opens case against Stoumile

— The state began its presentation of evidence Tuesday against Raymond Page Stoumile, a 27-year-old accused of the attempted first degree murder of his stepbrother, Anthony Johnson.

The relationship of Stoumile and Johnson was not well-known until Raleigh County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Truman began questioning Johnson. Johnson, now 24, entered the courtroom Tuesday in orange jail garb; he is currently serving a 15-year sentence at Mt. Olive for an armed robbery and conspiracy conviction.

On the night of the shooting, Jan. 28, 2011, Johnson said he had not intended to go to Club Phoenix in Mabscott, as he was on probation, but he dropped his wife Cianna off there.

He said she called him a few hours later asking him to pick her up because she was scared.

Truman asked him if he knew why she was scared, but Johnson said he did not know, he just left immediately to get her.

Johnson told Truman he remembered going into the club and then waking up at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Truman pressed for further details; Johnson said he remembered that he did not get into a fight at the club and that he was not armed that night. He also said he did not know who shot him.

The bartender working the night of the shooting, Jacquett Tyree, testified the club was fairly crowded and she was mixing drinks when the shots were fired.

The bar was separate from the dance floor, where the shooting took place, but Tyree said the door was open between the two rooms.

She said she saw muzzle flashes and then got behind a Pepsi cooler for safety and called 911.

During cross examination, defense attorney Robert Dunlap asked where she saw blood.

“When I left there was blood everywhere... There was a lot of blood,” Tyree said.

He asked her how many shots were fired; she said there were several, not as many as 10, but more than one.

“I wasn’t even in that room,” she added.

Dunlap listed a series of names and asked her if she knew if any of them were at the club that night. She replied, “I’m there to make money, not friends.”

Raleigh County Sheriff’s Cpl. R.E. Hall, the responding officer the night of the shooting, also provided testimony Tuesday.

He said when he arrived on scene, the parking lot was empty, a light dusting of snow had fallen and there were several puddles of blood on the ground.

Upon entering, Hall said he found two live rounds and two spent rounds on the ground and two witnesses remained inside — Tyree and a bar patron, Takiyah Bly.

In their statements, Tyree told Hall she could not identify the shooter and Bly told Hall she dove under a pool table for safety when the shots were fired.

After completing the interviews, Hall then went to Raleigh General Hospital where the shooting victim was transported.

Hall said Johnson was unconscious in the trauma unit and unable to speak with him, but Johnson’s wife, Cianna, said she was at the bar at the time of the shooting.

Cianna did not appear to be intoxicated and she said she had not been drinking, Hall testified, as she was only 20 at the time.

Hall said based on statements and the evidence found at the scene, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Stoumile for attempted first degree murder and five counts of wanton endangerment.

During cross examination, Dunlap asked Hall to explain the types of ammunition found; Hall said three types of ammo were found, but he believed there was only one gun involved.

Hall said shooters oftentimes utilize a “snack pack” of ammunition, just whatever they have easy access to. He said any .9mm handgun could have fired any of the ammunition found at the scene.

“Aside from the statements, is there anything to tie my client to this crime?” Dunlap asked.

“No,” Hall replied.

Stoumile fled the scene after the shooting and Hall said there was no way that he could have been checked for gunpowder residue.

Two other officers, Deputy Brian Acord and Capt. Jim Bare, also provided testimony, explaining how evidence is collected and the chain of custody of the evidence in this case.

The final witness called by the prosecution Tuesday was Kristen Sissler, a registered nurse at the Raleigh General Hospital emergency room who was working the night of the shooting.

Sissler said the group that transported Johnson to the hospital banged on the ER doors and eventually broke one of the doors.

She said one of the men was bleeding profusely and gasping for air, so he was immediately transported to the trauma unit.

Johnson had a hole in his left upper chest and his left arm, which Sissler said is consistent with gunshot wounds. She said a chest X-ray showed his lungs were filled with blood.

The emergency room staff wanted to airlift him to Charleston, but were unable to because of the weather.

Sissler volunteered to ride in a transport vehicle to Charleston Area Medical Center; on the way there, Sissler gave Johnson four units of blood, which she said is well over half what a normal human body typically contains.

The prosecution expects to present three more witnesses, two of whom were called to testify Tuesday, but were not present — Emmanuel Stoumile and Cianna Johnson.

The trial will continue today before Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick at 9 a.m. at the Raleigh County Courthouse

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