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Marion County jury finds man not guilty of murder, guilty on two other charges

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 10:40 AM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The criminal trial involving one of five men charged in connection to a 2018 Marion County murder ended with a mixed verdict.

A jury found David Uphold of Rivesville not guilty of first-degree murder and guilty of conspiracy to commit a felony and malicious assault, according to Marion County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney JT Hodges. The jury returned its verdict at around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Others charged in the September 2018 killing of Luka Grabb, 32, include James Vincent, Russel Kirk, Vernon Carpenter and Charles Carpenter.

Investigators previously said Kirk showed Vincent a video recording of Grabb planning to rob Vincent. During a fight between Uphold, Vincent and Grabb, police allege Vincent shot Grabb multiple times at a home on Dally Drive. Grabb's body was left on Pinchgut Hollow Road, police said.

The state presented several witnesses over the course of Uphold's three-day trial including police, the medical examiner, State Police lab personnel and family members of Grabb, Hodges said.

Kirk and Charles Carpenter already pleaded guilty to malicious assault and conspiracy charges. They testified during the trial.

The trials for Vincent and Vernon Carpenter are still pending.

Uphold could face three to 15 years in prison. The conspiracy charge carries a one-to-five-year sentence and malicious assault carries two-to-10 years.

It’s the second jury trial held in Marion County recently during the pandemic. The other, involving Brian Gatto, 40, charged with various sex crimes, resulted in a guilty verdict that could send him to prison for 75-100 years, Hodges said.

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