LATEST: Mercer County man sentenced to prison for second degree murder

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020: Darrel Hazelwood was sentenced to prison on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. He will spend 40 years in prison. He was convicted of second degree murder in August 2020.


PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020: A jury began deliberations in a murder trial in Mercer County on Wednesday morning. In a whirlwind trial which began on Tuesday the jury returned a verdict of Guilty against Darrell Hazelwood just after Noon.

Hazelwood was convicted of Second Degree Murder according the Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He killed Tessa Hill in front of her parents home in August 2019.


August 18, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Update: The trial began for a man accused of murder in Mercer County.

Darell Hazelwood appeared in the courtroom on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 for a crime he allegedly committed back in August of 2019. During the first day of trial, the State presented their case which included witness testimony.

Hazelwood allegedly shot and killed a woman in front of her parents’ house over $40. Hazelwood’s trail will continue on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in front of Judge Swope.

Stick with 59News, as this story continues to develop.


PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) August 21, 2019 6:30 p.m. UPDATE: New details emerge revealing what could have started the fight that lead to a deadly shooting in Princeton, and the dollar amount that may have cost the victim her life.

On August 10, 2019, a woman was shot and killed in the street in front of her parent’s home. Her alleged killer, Darrell Hazelwood, faces first degree murder, as investigators work to piece together Tessa Hill’s final moments.

One neighbor, Scottie Shorter, said he heard people arguing outside while he was putting his kids to bed.

“Just before dark and I heard two pop-pops,” Shorter said.

Mercer County Deputies were then dispatched to Murdock Street in Princeton for a reported shooting.

“It was a horrific scene,” Shorter said. “A woman had just been shot.”

Witnesses reported a fight broke out involving Tessa Hill, Hazelwood, and Hill’s boyfriend, Ronnie Farrell, seconds before the shooting. Court documents revealed Farrell and Hill were staying with Hazelwood, and that Hazelwood suspected Hill of stealing money.

The fight began when Hazelwood allegedly grabbed Hill by the throat as she was leaving her parents home and escalated into the street. When deputies arrived, they found Hill laying in the roadway with a gunshot wound to her head. She was pronounced dead on scene.

During the struggle, Hazelwood allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Hill. Detective Sgt. Steven Sommers said the dispute was over $40.

“Ms. Hill may have taken $40. Some of it is still unclear and the investigation is still ongoing, but that argument had occurred earlier in the day and could have possibly led to the incident on Murdock street,” Sommers explained.

Neighbors said the people involved seemed friendly and hardworking, but Shorter suspects drug use might have played a role in the violence.

“He mowed my grass and talked nice, just like you would with anybody. But not everybody has it the same in their home life, which obviously I guess spilled out into the street,” Shorter said.

Detectives are now following up with witnesses and sending evidence from the scene to the state police crime lab. A magistrate ruled there was probable cause at Hazelwood’s preliminary hearing. The case will move forward to a Mercer County Grand Jury.


PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — 8/12/19 7:15 p.m. UPDATE: On August 10, 2019, a woman was gunned down less than 20 feet from her parents’ driveway.

Witnesses pointed toward Darrell Hazelwood as Tessa Hill’s alleged killer. Mercer County Detective Sergeant, Steven Sommers, said Hazelwood reportedly fled the scene.

“They cordoned off the area and searched for Mr. Hazelwood,” Sgt. Sommers said. “He was later apprehended on Old Athens Road without incident.”

Seconds before Hazelwood allegedly shot Hill, a confrontation broke out in the street, leaving marks on Hazelwood’s face. The incident is currently under investigation as a possible motive for the shooting.

Hazelwood is charged with first degree murder and was arraigned in a Mercer County circuit courtroom, asking for bond to be set.

“If the judge finds probable cause, [he will] determine what bond, if any, will be placed on Hazewood,” Sgt. Sommers said.

Hazelwood’s attorney requested bond so that he could be released on home confinement, claiming he “was not a flight risk.” The request was denied.

Stick with 59 News as this story continues to develop.


ORIGINAL STORY: A man is facing murder charges after a fatal shooting in Princeton.

According to Mercer County Det. Sgt. Steven Sommers, deputies and Princeton Police officers were called to a shooting on Murdock Street at 8:40 p.m. Saturday.

There, bystanders were performing CPR on Tessa Hill, who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect, Darrell Hazelwood, ran off. Deputies and officers were able to locate him on Wickham Avenue and arrest him.

Darrell Hazelwood

Sommers said Hazelwood and Hill had an “unknown relationship” through a mutual party.

Hazelwood is facing murder and wanton endangerment charges, among others. He is being held at the Southern Regional Jail, awaiting Sunday’s arraignment at the Mercer County Courthouse.

Stick with 59 News as this story continues to develop.

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