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West Virginia man arraigned in fatal shooting of state trooper

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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — A suspect in the fatal shooting of a West Virginia state police officer was arraigned Saturday on a first-degree murder charge.

Timothy Kennedy, 29, was arraigned by video in Mingo County Magistrate Court. Kennedy of the Mingo County community of Beech Creek, near Matewan, was being held without bond in the Southwestern Regional Jail. Jail records didn't indicate whether Kennedy had an attorney who could comment on the charge.

Dozens of police officers had searched for Kennedy for hours. He was arrested in a stolen vehicle Friday night at a law enforcement checkpoint, news outlets reported.

Earlier Friday, Sgt. Cory Maynard and two troopers had responded to a complaint of a shooting at a home and were fired at when they arrived, state police said in a statement. Maynard was shot and taken to a hospital in Logan.

Gov. Jim Justice announced Maynard's death in a statement Friday night and said he was "absolutely heartbroken."

"The brave men and women of law enforcement, and all first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, are an inspiration to us all," Justice said.

Maynard earned a state police award in 2015 after he administered first aid to a man was had been involved in a pursuit, crashed his vehicle, and stabbed himself in the neck in the Eastern Panhandle, according to state police.

During the initial shooting Friday, Benjamin Adam Baldwin, 39, of Matewan, was shot with a rifle. He was in serious but stable condition Saturday at a hospital in Charleston, state police said. The motive for the shooting is unknown and remains under investigation.

Nearby residents were advised to stay indoors during the search for Kennedy, and a Friday night graduation ceremony at Mingo Central High School was postponed.

The shooting happened in the same county where Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot to death in April 2013 in a spot in Williamson where he usually parked his car for lunch. A suspect later was found incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to be committed to a state mental health facility for life.

Mingo and neighboring McDowell County are home to the legendary blood feud between the Hatfield family of West Virginia and the McCoy family of Kentucky.

Mingo County was dubbed "Bloody Mingo" during the early 20th-century coal mine wars. Ten people were killed in a 1920 gunbattle known as the "Matewan Massacre," between miners led by a local police chief and a group of private security guards who were hired to evict the miners for joining a union.

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