Suspect in KRT Transit Mall beating appears in court - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Suspect in KRT Transit Mall beating appears in court

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The key players involved in a near-death beating at the KRT Transit Mall appeared in court Monday.

Brandon Douglass appeared in Kanawha County Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing. Douglass and Dana LaFond are charged with the malicious wounding of Brandon Coltey, 20, on March 4 at the KRT Transit Mall in Charleston. LaFond, who waived his preliminary hearing, is also charged with first degree robbery.

Douglass' girlfriend, Coltey, and an officer, testified in court on Monday. Douglass' girlfriend said that Coltey also engaged in the fight.

"There's no negative, long-standing dispute between these parties. This was something that happened so fast, and Mr. Douglass didn't have the time to think about the right next steps, let alone, the time to form the intent to hurt Mr. Coltey," said Douglass' defense attorney.

Coltey said he had known Douglass since he was young and he was knocked in the head during the brawl.

Witnesses said the incident started over a lighter, then Coltey was hit with a brick, kicked, and hit. LaFond is accused of stealing Coltey's wallet.

"I feel like he was attacked because he was a hard-working man and he's known to be a hard-working man," said Kendra Jones, Coltey's fiancee and the mother of their son.

Other people who frequent the transit mall said they're unsure of their safety. Lasalle Burnett said he was also nearly beaten to death in the same place where the March 4 fight ensued.

"It's the kids out here acting ignorant," Burnett said. "The parents got to get involved."

Burnett said he feels the groups of kids who hang around the area often cause trouble without reason.

"This isn't a club. This isn't a library. People come to the transit mall to take a bus to work," Burnett said.

"That could have been your child out there," said May Coltey, the victim's mother. "And it was mine. How would you feel? Stop and think about your children that's involved."

Coltey was recently released from CAMC, where he was being treated in the intensive care unit for more than a week.

Charleston Police said an officer circles the area between noon and 8 p.m.; the bike unit rides through between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; then officers patrol the area overnight.

Surveillance cameras are also installed throughout the bus terminal.

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