Cumberland Times-News

Local News

September 28, 2013

Suspects dragged Slanesville man’s body for several miles

Chief deputy commends witness for tips

SLANESVILLE, W.Va. — The body of a Hampshire County man who was reportedly killed inside his residence was then dragged by the suspects behind their vehicle for a distance of three to four miles, according to the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office.

The information was released late Friday afternoon by the sheriff’s office concerning the circumstances of the death of Michael F. O’Hara — and the subsequent arrest of his estranged wife, Mandy Lee O’Hara, 36, and John Shoemaker, 21, on first-degree murder charges and Gabriella Clutter, 21, who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

O’Hara, Shoemaker and Clutter, who resided together at a residence in Capon Springs, remained jailed late Saturday afternoon at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta.

According to the sheriff’s office, Mandy O’Hara and Shoemaker entered Michael O’Hara’s residence on Hickory Corner Road by unknown means and then stabbed him in the throat.

The slaying is believed to have occurred in a bedroom of the residence sometime between 4 and 5:20 a.m. on Thursday.

The West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office determined O’Hara, who was in his 30s, suffered a stab wound to his throat that killed him, according to Hampshire County Chief Deputy Nathan Sions.

After the killing, the suspects then allegedly wrapped the victim’s body in plastic, tied it to the back of their vehicle and drove away.

A citizen traveling on the roadway near the residence then observed the vehicle pulling the body along the roadway.

Along the way, the body became detached from the vehicle and was observed in the roadway by a passerby.

At that point, the passerby reportedly briefly encountered the suspects before they sped away — with the passerby in pursuit until he lost sight of the vehicle.

The eyewitness then drove to a location near Hickory Corner Road where he could get a cell signal to call 911.

At the same time, the suspects reportedly returned to retrieve the victim’s body. They tied it to the back of their vehicle and dragged it to the North River where they hid the body beneath a tree and then drove across the shallow river in their vehicle to return to their Capon Bridge residence via Cold Stream Road, police said.

It was the citizen’s telephone call, a description of the suspect vehicle and other timely information that led investigators to the victim’s body and ultimately to the suspects’ residence, where all three suspects were arrested without incident.

“We commend the action taken by the eyewitness on the information he was able to relay to responding deputies and investigators,” said Sions.

In another development, Sions said investigators have determined a possible motive in the case, but he declined to elaborate.

Police have also recovered a knife that was possibly used in the slaying along with other evidence.

Investigators said Mandy O’Hara had moved out of the couple’s residence in Slanesville several months ago, according to police.

Jeffrey L. Alderton may be contacted at jlalderton@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military