New Details Surface in Wayne Jones Shooting


MARTINSBURG, W Va. - There are many questions surrounding the morning of March 13, 2013 when Wayne Jones, 50, was shot 23 times after an alleged altercation with Martinsburg City Police officers. 

Since his death, a Berkeley County Grand Jury declined an indictment on the five officers involved in October 2013. And the Jones family filed a civil lawsuit against the City and the five officers; Erik Herb, Daniel North, William Staubs, Paul Lehman and Eric Neely.

With less than two months until the trial, the Jones family attorney, Sherman Lambert, Sr., is now calling into question a key piece of evidence; the dashboard camera video from police cruisers.

"Right now we don't know what we have, but we certainly know it's been altered," said Sherman Lambert, Sr.

On Wednesday, during a motion opposing a request by the City to dismiss the lawsuit filled, court documents state that Lambert said "What is most distributing is that the dashboard video shows the shooting, but no images of the struggle, which occurred within seconds prior to the shooting and was in the exact same geographical location as the shooting."

"There's no pictorial representation of any portion of talking about at the bookstore where (Daniel) North hit him, where they took him down to the ground right there. There was a scuffle," said Lambert. "There was supposed to have been a knife. There is no image of it and then someone hollers 'Knife!' and of course the decedent is shot."

Court documents show that in Chief Kevin Miller's testimony he states that "The dashboard video camcorders were materially altered by the West Virginia State Police at the lab prior to being produced to Plaintiffs."

"His excuse was, of course, well we wanted to make sure that one image has everything on it," said Lambert. "Well that may or may not be true. I think I would rather you give me the evidence raw and let us marry them if that's what we wanted to do."

Lambert said if Jones was allegedly aggressive than that footage should be visible too, but instead the footage starts with the shooting.

"If he was aggressive, certainly that image that captured the shooting, it wouldn't just start as they are just getting up off the ground back up three spaces and shot him," said Lambert. "The car is sitting there, the camcorders going, the officers are out of the car, no one is in the car adjusting the camcorder, so why didn't it take all of the images prior to the shooting? Where are they? What happened?"

The lawsuits claims that the Martinsburg City Police Department used unreasonable and excessive force during the shooting of Wayne Jones. Lambert believes what happened behind the camera lens could play a key role in determining what happened that morning.

WHAG reached out to the City's attorney, Boyd Warner, who is representing the City of Martinsburg and the five officers, but he was unavailable for comment. 

The jury trial is set for October 28, 2014. 

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