Suspect's father claims slain Mingo County sheriff raped his son - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Suspect's father claims slain Mingo County sheriff raped his son; trial date set for Tennis Maynard

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A December trial date has been set for the man charged with killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum earlier this year.

Jury selection in the trial of Tennis Melvin Maynard is scheduled to begin Dec. 9 in Mingo County.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson. He also is charged with attempted murder linked to the pointing of a loaded firearm at Mingo County Sheriff's Corporal Norman Mines and fleeing with reckless indifference. Maynard has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A motions hearing will be held Oct. 15.

Outside the courtroom on Tuesday, Maynard's father said that his son shot and killed the sheriff because he sexually assaulted his son. Melvin Maynard said it happened couple of years ago. Leslie Maynard, a brother to Tennis, said that the family tried to file charges about six months ago. They claim the paperwork was thrown out.

The Mingo County prosecutor would not comment specifically on the allegations. "It's been a very comprehensive investigation. We've investigated what would be perceived as unfavorable evidence or unfavorable allegations as well as favorable allegations," said Michael Sparks.

He said he was unaware of the sexual molestation claims until recently.



The man accused of gunning down Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum will appear in court on Tuesday.

Tennis Maynard is on the schedule for a status hearing in Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell's courtroom.  It starts at 2:30 p.m.

The hearing comes less than one week after two public officials were indicted on federal charges related to corruption in Mingo County.

Maynard is charged with first-degree murder and other charges after authorities said he shot Crum as he was eating lunch in his cruiser back in April.

Prosecutor Michael Sparks is putting together his case against Maynard. Sources tell 13 News that trial evidence could include a sexual assault investigation involving Crum and a then 19-year-old woman in 2001.

Crum was Delbarton's police chief at the time. State Police later determined the sex between the pair was consensual.

Sparks won't say how this particular incident will shape the Maynard trial but said there is a good chance it will come up.

The motive for the shooting is still murky. Authorities said Crum and Maynard knew each other for decades. Crum was Maynard's boxing coach when he was a teenager.

Prosecutors said Maynard's mental health records will also be used as evidence in his upcoming trial.

His family said he was exposed to harmful chemicals while working at an Alabama mine in 2007.

Maynard is being held in the Western Regional Jail without bail.  He's scheduled to go to trial October 21.