Beckley man pleads not guilty to murder charges, case to go to trial

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – A murder case against a Beckley man will go to trial after he rejected a plea deal at the last minute and pled not guilty earlier today.

Marquest Fortune, a nineteen-year-old from Beckley, is accused of killing Traysouan Robertson at a party in Beckley last year.

Court documents obtained today allege that the incident occurred on December 10. According to witnesses, the victim got into an altercation with another person in a bedroom. Fortune then allegedly walked into the room and fired a single shot that killed Robertson.

Police say witnesses told them that Fortune was trying to shoot the person Robertson was in an altercation with but missed and hit Robertson instead.

The prosecution and defense had initially come to a tentative agreement on a plea deal. That agreement fell apart when Fortune decided not to take the offer after all and pled not guilty.

Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield said Fortune will be tried for the original charges handed down by a grand jury.

“Today’s offer was for him to plead guilty to second-degree murder. There was no disposition of agreement in terms of sentencing. there would have been a pre-sentence investigative report, and the judge would have decided the sentence,” Hatfield said. “It was a pretty straightforward plea deal. but now we’re headed towards trial on first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, multiple wanton endangerment, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Those were the counts that the grand jury handed down. And those are the counts that will go to trial.”

Fortune’s trial date was moved to the next term of court and will begin on November 12, 2024.

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