Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Trial Begins in Marmet Apartment Slaying

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Trial Begins in Marmet Apartment Slaying

Article excerpt

Miguel Quinones' lawyer told jurors Tuesday that prosecutors have charged the wrong person with the murder of a man who was brutally beaten inside a Marmet apartment. Quinones is on trial for charges of murder and kidnapping in the 2013 death of Kareem Hunter, who was beaten, tied up and buried in a shallow grave in Raleigh County. His attorney, Robert Dunlap, said during opening statements Tuesday morning that he plans to prove Quinones wasn't in Marmet the night Hunter died and that Quinones has been implicated by two people who wanted to receive lighter sentences for their roles in the slaying.

"I'd like to be able to tell you what really happened, Dunlap told jurors. "I don't have a client that was there.

Assistant Kanawha Prosecutor Jennifer Gordon, however, told jurors she's confident they will find Quinones guilty of first- degree murder after they hear testimony from multiple witnesses, examine videos, photographs and DNA evidence.

"The evidence in this case is a lot like a puzzle - there are many moving parts, Gordon said. "When the parts are put together collectively, we will prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty.

Dunlap argues that Deveron Patterson and Kelsey Legg named Quinones as the ringleader behind Hunter's killing to save themselves from receiving lengthier sentences.

Patterson pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Hunter and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The deal prosecutors gave him stipulated he would have the chance to go before a parole board after serving 15 years of his sentence.

Legg, who originally was charged with murder, took a deal offered by prosecutors and instead pleaded guilty to being an accessory after murder. She told a judge that Hunter was beaten inside her Marmet apartment and that she watched Patterson and Quinones do it. She was sentenced to spend six to eight years in prison.

Both Legg and Patterson agreed to testify against Quinones as part of their agreements with prosecutors.

On the stand Tuesday, Patterson again admitted, "I helped him, referring to Quinones.

Legg admitted to bringing Hunter to her apartment so the two could celebrate their recent birthdays together. …

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