Stabbing case bound over to grand jury

ELKINS – The case of an Elkins man who allegedly stabbed another man during an altercation at Central School Apartments was bound over to the grand jury Tuesday.

Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler found probable cause for the malicious or unlawful assault felony charge against James Wilson Falls III, 27, of 220 Second St., Apt. 204, Elkins. Falls is accused of stabbing Matthew Ray Nov. 22.

Falls appeared in court with his attorney, John Cooper, who asked for a reduction of bond for Falls, which was set at $30,000 cash. Shepler declined to reduce the bond.

During testimony, Elkins Police Patrolman David Gidley said he was on duty the night of the altercation.

“I actually had two occasions to come in contact with Mr. Falls that night,” Gidley said. “The first call we received was when Falls broke the window out of his apartment. Mr. Falls and Mr. Ray said the window got broken, everything was fine and they did not need me.”

Gidley said he was called back to the same residence an hour or so later.

“The second call was for someone who was threatening to stab someone,” Gidley said. “When I arrived on scene, I found Falls with a towel wrapped around his arm. I asked him what was going on and he said he got stabbed. He said he did not know who stabbed him, or where they went.”

Gidley said the door across the hall opened and two women said that Falls threatened to kill them.

“Mr. Falls became extremely irate and began cursing at the women,” Gidley said. “He said I’ll kill you all, and he and the women were yelling back and forth. Falls began cursing at me and made an aggressive move like he was going to hit me and I took him to the ground.”

Gidley said another woman came around the corner and told him he needed to go with her because the man who got stabbed was bleeding to death.

“I said this (Falls) is the guy who got stabbed,” Gidley said. “She said another guy was in her apartment and he is bleeding. At that point, Falls said he stabbed the other guy.”

Gidley said he went to the other apartment, where he found Ray bleeding profusely.

“While I was in the apartment with Ray, he told me that James stabbed him,” Gidley said. “I heard someone say, ‘Gidley, Gidley, come quick.’ I went back out to the hallway and EMS staff told me (a patrolman) and Falls were fighting over a knife. I went back into the apartment, and (they) were fighting on the ground. When they rolled over, I could see a very large military style knife in Mr. Fall’s hand.”

Cooper asked for a reduction of Fall’s bond based on financial circumstances.

“Mr. Falls is a person of meager income and we would ask for a reduction in bond,” Cooper said. “If it could be lowered to something he could reach, we would ask for that.”

Shepler said the bond would remain as set.