UPDATE: Murder suspect waives preliminary hearing

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 7/27/2020 3:00 p.m. UPDATE: The man arrested in connection to a fatal overdose was supposed to be seen in court Monday, July 27, 2020.

Markel Stokes is accused of selling drugs that caused the death of Derrick Counts, who died April 27, 2020. He is facing felony murder and felony conspiracy charges.

Stokes was expected to be in court for a preliminary hearing in front of Magistrate Humphrey, but waived the hearing. His case will head to the grand jury in September.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 6/30/2020 6:10 p.m. UPDATE: The man wanted in connection to a fatal overdose was found.

Markel Stokes was arrested in Detroit, Michigan by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. He is waiting to be extradited back to West Virginia.

Stokes is accused of selling the drugs that caused the death of Derrick Counts. He faces a felony murder charge and a felony conspiracy charge.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 6/22/2020 3:30 p.m. UPDATE: A man accused of selling laced drugs was seen in court.

Matthew Hunt was seen in front of Magistrate Humphrey on Monday, June 22, 2020 for his preliminary hearing. Hunt is charged with murder by poisoning. He allegedly sold Derek Counts laced narcotics right before he died. Magistrate Humphrey found probable cause. The case will head to the grand jury.

Deputies with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department still looking for Markel Stokes.


BRADLEY, WV (WVNS) — 6/16/2020 1 p.m. ORIGINAL STORY: Deputies with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office need your help looking for a man wanted for allegedly killing another man with laced drugs.

The investigation began April 27, 2020, when deputies were called to a single vehicle accident in Bradley. The victim, Derrick Robert Counts, 32 of White Sulphur Springs, was found dead. However, deputies learned his injuries were not consistent with those in a car accident.

Markel Stokes II

The investigation then led deputies to a home in Bradley. It’s believed Counts bought drugs from the home before the car accident. The West Virginia State Medical Examiner determined Counts died from Fentanyl intoxication.

Deputies arrested Matthew Allen Hunt, of Beckley, on Thursday, June 11, 2020. Hunt is believed to have given Counts the drugs that ultimately led to his death. Hunt was given the drugs by Markel Rachi Stokes II of Romulus, Michigan.

Matthew Hunt

Hunt is charged with Felony Murder by Poisoning and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Deputies are now on the hunt for Stokes. He is entered into the National Crime Information Center as a wanted person.

Deputies believe Stokes is in the Beckley or Detroit area. Anyone with any information as to where Stokes can be is urged to call Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office at 304-255-9300 or Crime Stoppers of Southern WV at 304-255-STOP.

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