The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 10, 2013

Man upset about ex’s new beau allegedly attacks both with sword

Magistrate sets bond at $1 million

BECKLEY — A Beckley man is in jail for attempted murder and malicious wounding after police say he cut his ex-girlfriend and seriously wounded her current boyfriend on Sunday with a sword, Raleigh County officials reported Monday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Raleigh Magistrate Court, 27-year-old Michael Hale of Ewart Avenue had gone to the Bailey Avenue residence of his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Tabatha Farley, around 12:50 a.m. Sunday.

Once there, he learned that Farley had begun dating 37-year-old Hershel Drennen of Fairdale.

While Drennen was in Farley’s home, Hale allegedly drove to a friend’s house in Fairdale and got a sword he owned from the friend’s residence.

He then returned to Bailey Avenue, where he entered Farley’s house and attacked Drennen with the sword, according to Deputy J.G. Sahl of Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

In the complaint, Sahl stated that both of Drennen’s hands were nearly severed as he defended himself against the attack.

His face and neck were also lacerated, and he had cuts on his legs and foot.

He also was stabbed in the abdomen, and a Raleigh General Hospital surgeon told police the wound damaged Drennen’s intestines.

Drennen was transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center for more advanced care, according to the complaint.

Hale also stabbed Farley in the right foot, causing a wound that needed stitches, Sahl stated.

Police stopped Hale in traffic near Bailey Avenue, and Hale admitted in a recorded interview that he had intended to kill Drennen by stabbing him in the neck, Sahl wrote.

Hale remained lodged at Southern Regional Jail Monday on a $1 million bond set by Raleigh Magistrate Steve Massie.

The case is now assigned to Raleigh Magistrate Greg Tanner.

—  E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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