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The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va., Local Police Report No Progress In Area Death Cases Column

February 22, 2006

By The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.

Feb. 22–Fairmont Police Tuesday had made no new progress in the November hit-and-run death of WVU nursing student Erin Marie Keener. Meanwhile, area police also said they are still investigating two other local deaths. In the Fairmont hit-and-run case, Fairmont Police Detective J.S. Bennington said Tuesday, “No arrests have been made and no warrants for an arrest have been issued.” When asked how close officers are to making an arrest, Bennington said only, “We’re working this case every day.” Keener died Nov. 23 after being struck by a car in Fairmont. The 21-year-old Rivesville woman was hit just after midnight at Merchant and Guffey streets. The driver left the scene. Marion County Prosecuting Attorney’s office is also investigating. Other cases: Morgantown Police continue to wait for answers surrounding a fatal house fire that killed Suncrest resident James Andrew Michael. Morgantown Police Sgt. H.W. Sperringer said detectives continue to wait for evidence that has been sent to various labs including the State Police Forensics Lab and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lab. Michael was discovered in a bedroom in his home on Killarney Drive in Suncrest on Nov. 29. Michael, 33, who lived in the home with his wife and their four children, was the only person home at the time of the fire. On Feb. 8, investigators announced the fire was intentionally set. On Jan. 24, the body of Morgantown resident Ebony Nicole Brown was found buried in a shallow grave at 42 1/2 Snowy Road, near Chaplin Hill. Charged in Brown’s death are sisters Danielle Taureane Hilling, 23, of Sabraton and Nina Jefferson, 27, of Morgantown, and Hason K. “MEGA” Cleveland, 27, of Morgantown. Hilling and Cleveland are charged with first-degree murder. Jefferson is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Hilling and Jefferson face the grand jury in May and Cleveland was arrested Nov. 1. in Queens, N.Y. He is expected to be extradited from New York to Morgantown by the end of the month. A tentative hearing is set for March 3. Morgantown Police said Tuesday their investigation into the Feb. 12 stabbing death of WVU student Ryan Robert Johnston is continuing. Johnston was stabbed during an early morning fight between two groups of young adults on Beechurst Avenue. Police have yet to arrest anyone in that case.

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.

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