PRINCETON — After the lead investigator and the victim testified Thursday at a preliminary hearing, the case of a man charged with shooting at the victim after a pickup truck was repossessed was forwarded to the Mercer County Grand Jury.
Terry Allen Joy, 23, of Kegley, who has been charged with felonies including malicious wounding and wanton endangerment, was brought before Magistrate Susan Honaker for a preliminary hearing. Joy was arrested Dec. 5 after he allegedly confronted an agent who had repossessed his pickup truck and shot at him.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Lt. S.A. Sommers with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the incident started at 8:50 p.m. Dec. 5 when Mercer County 911 received a complaint about multiple shots being fired at Liquors & More at 105 Beckley Road near Princeton. The caller also said that several people had fled the area.
A representative of F-5 Investigations called Mercer 911 to inform them about the repossession of a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado at Heavenly Acres in Kegley, Sommers said in his report. The representative said that the vehicle’s owner was unaware of the repossession.
During the preliminary hearing Wednesday, Sommers testified while being questioned by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Poff that deputies asked him to Joy’s residence at Heavenly Acres Road in Kegley. He was told there had been one shooting at Beckley Road near Kegley and a second shooting at the Liquors & More parking lot.
Joy was not at home when his pickup truck was repossessed, Sommers said. A neighbor saw the victim, Jordan Cooper of F5 Investigations, and his coworker there. Cooper found the truck, checked its VIN number, found the keys in the truck and took possession of it.
“A neighbor had called Mr. Joy and told him he believed somebody had stolen his truck,” Sommers said.
Joy put the vehicle he was driving then across the center line of Beckley Road to get the pickup truck just before Sharps Turn Road. In a recorded statement Joy gave after being taken to the sheriff’s department and informed of his Miranda Rights, he said that he approached the man driving his pickup truck and asked for identification, but the driver sped off.
Sommers testified that 13 shell casings were found at Beckley Road.
Cooper pulled off the road at Liquors & More in the city of Princeton. Another 27 shots were fired there, Sommers stated. The pickup truck had multiple gunshots in it.
A 9-mm Glock and an extended magazine were found at Joy’s residence, Sommers said in his criminal complaint. A magazine and a 9-mm shell casing were recovered from the truck Joy and his wife were driving.
Attorney Derrick Lefler, who is representing Joy, asked Sommers during cross examination whether Joy voluntarily gave a statement and voluntarily surrendered his firearm and clip. Sommers said this was correct.
Lefler said that when Joy gave investigators his statement, he said that the repossessed pickup truck was driven toward him during the confrontation at Beckley Road. Sommers said this was correct.
“Did he indicate he was in fear for his safety?” Lefler asked Sommers.
“He did,” Sommers replied.
Jordan Cooper, the agent who repossessed Joy’s pickup truck, testified at Wednesday’s hearing. Cooper said he had worked at F-5 Investigations for about three weeks. He had shadowed other agents for about two weeks.
“This was my first night on the job,” Cooper told Lefler during cross examination.
Cooper testified that on the night of Dec. 5 he arrived at Heavenly Acres with coworker Matthew Davis, found the pickup truck, checked its VIN number, checked to see if it was unlocked and found the keys. He repossessed the truck and nobody confronted him. He estimated that he was at the home “three and a half minutes. Tops.” He saw a person looking at him from a door, but nobody said anything.
Cooper said he was driving the pickup truck to the company’s lot when he encountered a vehicle “straddling” Beckley Road’s yellow lines.
Upon seeing the road blocked, he thought it had to do with the repossession. He testified that he did not see anybody.
“Then I heard gunfire,” he said. “I never saw nobody. I just heard shots. Then I floored it. My arm started burning badly.”
Cooper said that he knew he had been hit by a bullet. He drove quickly and stopped at the Liquors & More parking lot. Davis was following him.
“Then I started having some labored breathing,” Cooper recalled. “And obviously my lungs were filling up with blood. I pulled over and couldn’t get the door open.”
Cooper said Davis helped him get out of truck. They heard more gunfire, but reached Davis’s vehicle and drove to WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital. He was later transported to a Roanoke, Va. hospital.
Poff asked Cooper how many times he had been shot.
“I think approximately five times,” he replied. “Two in the arms. My spleen. My liver. My lung and my stomach.”
Lefler cross examined Cooper and asked if he had been given any training about when to abandon a repossession attempt. Cooper said that hearing gunfire was one instance and facing a physical confrontation was another.
Cooper said that he did not see who was shooting at him.
Magistrate Honaker ruled that the case had probable cause and sent it to the Mercer County Grand Jury.
Earlier in the hearing, Lefler asked that the court modify Joy’s bond.
Joy was being held at the Southern Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond. Lefler moved that the bond be changed to a $50,000 cash or surety bond with a condition of home confinement.
Poff said she had spoken to Cooper who agreed with the change. Honaker ordered that Joy’s bond be modified.
The West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment and the Princeton Police Department assisted with the investigation.