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2 Detroit men sought in homicide

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

BARBOURSVILLE -- Those living at Forest Bluff Apartments were on edge Thursday as investigators searched for two Detroit men charged with fatally shooting a visitor at Apartment No. 7036.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. G.N. Losh said investigators believe two men forced their way inside the apartment about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. An argument ensued and the victim, Christopher Carter, 25, of Huntington received three gunshot wounds as he tried to leave. He collapsed about 30 to 40 feet away from the apartment and later died at an area hospital.

Investigators filed warrants Thursday charging Terry Nicholas Morton, 34, and Tyerus Brandon Hayes, 29, with felony first-degree murder, said Losh and State Police Sgt. R.D. Perry. Authorities believe they had fled the area by midday Thursday.

In a related move, state troopers arrested Jonathan Robert Yeager and charged him with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. A criminal complaint charges police seized heroin, powder cocaine, digital scales, ledgers and several cellphones from his residence at 6120 Pinedale Drive.

Investigators believe the three defendants are connected, Losh said, because Yeager had contact with both Carter and those suspected in Carter's death.

Authorities urged anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Morton or Hayes, who answer to the street names "Boots" and "Tank" respectively, call the State Police at 304-528-5555 or simply dial 911. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service are assisting in the search, Losh said. The Cabell County Sheriff's Office has been assisting in the joint investigation.

Those living at Forest Bluff Apartments had little to say Thursday. The privately owned, subsidized housing complex is located along Beech Drive off East Pea Ridge Road near Barboursville.

Nobody answered the door at Unit No. 7036, and neighbors would not give their names citing a personal fear that stems from suspected drug dealing in the community. Management declined comment saying the victim was not a tenant at the complex.

Baley Harris, 18, and Jon Dawson, 20, just moved in Christmas Eve, several units away. They had returned home just minutes before Wednesday's shooting took place. They didn't walk outside until morning.

"It's scary," Harris said. "It's just you never know what's going to happen."

That's a change for Harris, who lived at the apartment complex from age 4 to the seventh grade. She recalled playing in the streets unsupervised as a child.

Now the environment necessitates the watchful eye of a security guard starting at 9 p.m. The couple said that person is tasked with checking drivers' licenses and other items as people come and go.

Losh acknowledged Forest Bluff has been a trouble spot before. He said management does its best to monitor the situation and evict those who cause problems. County and state law enforcement also assist with proactive patrolling in the area.

Investigators still were trying to confirm specific aspects about what motivated Wednesday's shooting, but Losh said they suspect drugs will link the victim, Yeager and those from Detroit.

"Whether that be a debt, whether that be owed drugs, we're still investigating," he said.

Jack Miller, 69, has lived along Pinedale Drive for approximately 43 years. His house is located across the street from Yeager's residence. He had long suspected something was going on.

"There was a lot of cars coming and going," he said of Yeager's home. "No longer than they were there -- I mean a car would come in, be there for just a few minutes and would be gone."

Cabell County Magistrate Mike Woelfel set a $100,000 bond at Yeager's arraignment. He remained incarcerated as of late afternoon Thursday.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and http://facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD.



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