UPDATE: Beckley man sentenced in the death of Dwayne Richardson

UPDATE (11/15 @ 9 p.m.) – BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has been sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a high school student.

Jeriamyah Fortner, 20, of Beckley, was sentenced in Raleigh County Circuit Court on Monday for his guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Dewayne Marquette Richardson Jr., news outlets reported.

Richardson, a basketball player at Woodrow Wilson High School, was shot once in the chest in May.

Beckley Police had said investigators determined that Fortner had an AR-15 rifle and was handling it recklessly when he inadvertently shot Richardson.


UPDATE (5/5 at 4:30 p.m.) -Beckley PD has sent the following information.

On Sunday, May 2 at 9:24 p.m., officer from the Beckley Police Department were dispatched to a shooting in the 500 Block of Terrill Street.  Officers along with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) who were responding to the shooting were flagged down on S. Fayette Street at Truman Avenue by a vehicle whose occupants were transporting the victim to the hospital.  Officers observed the victim, identified as DWAYNE MARQUETTE RICHARDSON JR. suffering from a single gunshot wound to his chest area.  EMS immediately began providing life saving measures while transporting the victim to Raleigh General Hospital.  The victim was flown by helicopter to a Charleston Area Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

An investigation conducted by the Beckley Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that the victim had been present at 509 Terrill St. with a group of acquaintances prior to the shooting.  Initial interviews of these individuals provided conflicting information pertaining to both the location of the shooting incident and the circumstances surrounding the victim being shot.  Based on these conflicting statements and physical evidence discovered outside of the residence, detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence located at 509 Terrill Street.  During the subsequent search, numerous items of physical evidence were documented and seized for future analysis.

Additional interviews were conducted on May 3 and 4, to include the interview of JERIAMYAH JACOB FORTNER.  As a result of these interviews and the investigative findings; it was determined that FORTNER inadvertently shot RICHARDSON while recklessly handling an AR-15 rifle.  On May 5, 2021 warrants were obtained for FORTNER.

On May 5, 2021 at 3:40 p.m., FORTNER, accompanied by his attorney turned himself in to members of the Beckley Police Department.  FORTNER was processed and then transported to the Southern Regional Jail pending his initial arraignment.”


UPDATE (5/3 at 11:15 a.m.) – Beckley PD has sent out the following information regarding the shooting in Beckley last night.

The Beckley Police Department is investigating the shooting death of an eighteen-year-old male, identified as DWAYNE MARQUETTE RICHARDSON JR. that occurred in Beckley at approximately 9:24 p.m. last night in the 500 Block of Terrill Street.

Officers along with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) who were responding to the shooting were flagged down on S. Fayette Street at Truman Avenue by a vehicle whose occupants were transporting the victim to the hospital.

Officers observed the victim was suffering from a single gunshot wound to his chest area.

EMS immediately began providing life saving measures while transporting the victim to Raleigh General Hospital.  The victim was flown by helicopter to a Charleston Area Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries

The Beckley Police Department is asking anyone with information on this incident to contact Crime Stoppers of WV via their free P3 Tips app or Detective Cpl. Stewart at 304-256-1708.  Cash rewards will be paid for information leading to an arrest in this incident.


BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – An 18-year-old Woodrow Wilson High School student and basketball player was fatally shot on Sunday, May 2.

Beckley Police said the shooting occurred at 9:24 p.m. on the 500 block of Terrill St. near South Fayette St.

According to police, EMS transported the male victim, who suffered a single shot to the chest.  He was transported to Raleigh General Hospital and then to Charleston where he succumbed to his injuries.

There were no other injuries reported. Police say they are currently investigating what led up to the shooting.

Stay with WOAY for further details. 

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