According to a news release issued by the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, Tremale Straughter was sentenced to life in prison without mercy on Friday, January 10, in the shooting death of Donovan Taylor.
The man accused of shooting and killing another man in Rand, WV pleaded guilty in court today.
Tremale Straughter pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the shooting death of Donovan Taylor. It happened along Emory Avenue in Rand on February 14.
Straughter faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 10.
A shooting leaves one man dead, another behind bars, and a community on edge.
Dispatchers received a call about a noise disturbance on Emory Avenue in Rand just after 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies responded to the call and while en route learned that shots had been fired in the same area.
When deputies arrived, they found a green car crashed on Emory Ave. Inside the car they found the body of Donovan Taylor. They also found several small and large shell casings from different caliber guns along Emory Ave.
The suspect, Tremale Straughter, 29, fled the scene, but deputies arrested him shortly after. He was arraigned in Kanawha County magistrate court Thursday afternoon and charged with one count of first-degree murder.
Neighbors who heard the commotion this morning say they're still in shock.
"All of a sudden there's 30 shots being fired outside my window," said Charles Cyrus, of Rand. "I thought it was us being shot at. That's how scared I was. I just rolled to the floor."
Charles Cyrus grew up in Rand and moved into a new house on Emory Avenue last week. He said gunshots woke him up just after 4 a.m. on Thursday morning.
"It's ridiculous," said Cyrus, who knew both Straughter and Taylor. "It's bad. I grew up here. Been here 23 years, now all of a sudden I don't feel safe."
Straughter's brother, Tremain, said he barely believes what happened.
"Don't worry about what these streets are saying," said Tremain Straughter, Tremale's older brother. "They was wrong about me, and I know they are wrong about you. Hold your head high, little brother."
"They grew up together," said John Orcutt, 21, of Rand. "They went to Kindergarten and all that stuff together. I just never knew them to have any anger towards each other."
Rand is an unincorporated community in eastern Kanawha County. That means it has no official local government or police department, falling under the jurisdiction of the county. State Police and Kanawha County deputies typically respond to incidents such as the murder that happened Thursday morning.
Sheriff Rutherford said more deputies would patrol Rand on Thursday evening to ease any tensions.
"We want to provide safety for the neighborhood," said Kanawha County Sheriff John Rutherford. "It's a neighborhood that's densely populated for the county. It's something we always do."
"It makes me feel a whole lot more safer knowing that the cops will be around if more things do go down," Orcutt said.
But some said they need something more to repair the damage caused by gunshots and death.
"We need a strong figure right now," Cyrus said. "We just gotta pray and hope for the best right now."
Sheriff Rutherford said there are no other suspects at this time, and deputies are still investigating to uncover a motive.