The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

March 28, 2014

White Sulphur stabbing suspect arrested

John Fleshman sat on his porch, covered in blood. His neighbors helped him keep a towel pressed to the knife wounds in his side. Drops of blood covered the sidewalk. A bloody Yankees hat was lying on the porch.

Fleshman had been stabbed three times, allegedly by Jerome A. Finney, 39, of White Sulphur Springs. The criminal complaint for the case says Finney was charged with malicious wounding.

White Sulphur Springs Police Sgt. Jerry Hopkins asked Fleshman what had happened that Monday evening.

Earlier, Fleshman was standing in the shower and heard someone beat on his door. He got out and saw Finney standing in his living room. Finney asked where was “Rachel Coleman.” Fleshman said he needed to get some clothes on.

Finney shoved Fleshman and the two started to fight. The fight moved to the bedroom where, according to the complaint, Finney pulled out a knife and stabbed Fleshman three times.

The two kept fighting until the fight made it outside. Finney got into a white SUV and drove away.

Sgt. Hopkins found a black-handled kitchen knife on the sidewalk. A witness said Finney dropped it when he ran.

Hopkins went into the house and found drops of blood and a bloody yellow shirt. In the bedroom, the officer saw a broken mirror, which supported the story that a fight took place.

Hopkins met with Deputy W. Nester and Trooper J. Burnette. The three started to search for Finney and found a phone number for the suspect. Hopkins called Finney and told him to turn himself in. Finney said he would give up.

Hopkins waited half-an-hour before Finney showed up with blood on his pants.

Finney was arrested and offered to give a statement to the police.

Finney said he went to Fleshman’s house to find his girlfriend. Finney needed to find her so he could return a rental car. He said he saw his girlfriend’s car parked on Fleshman’s street.

Finney stated that he went inside and asked Fleshman where his girlfriend was. Finney says he stepped toward Fleshman who started punching him in the face. Finney says he grabbed a knife from a table and stabbed Fleshman with it. He says he fled into Virginia before he turned around and gave himself up to the police.

Finney is in Southern Regional Jail on an $8,500 bond.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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