THURMOND, W.Va. — One person was fatally electrocuted during an attempted copper theft Wednesday from a power pole in Fayette County.

Sheriff’s deputies said it happened near the Thurmond Depot on Beury Mountain.

The name of the victim was not immediately released. WVNS-TV reported that a second man, 22-year-old Charles Raymond Norris, of Oak Hill, was arrested at the scene and charged with attempt to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility.

Appalachian Power Company spokesman Phil Moye said these attempts turn tragic most of the time.

“It began in around 2006 when the price of copper started to rise, and at that point people began stealing copper from our facilities,” Moye said. “From the very start it’s been an extremely dangerous thing to do.”

The incident knocked out power for three hours to about 50 Appalachian Power customers in the Thurmond area.

Moye warned that touching an energized line is almost certain to be fatal.

“This is a very sad situation and a very dangerous sort of thing to attempt, clearly, as this case illustrates,” he said.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department was still investigating the death Wednesday afternoon.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Wixcheew

    This is a bad thing and most copper
    thieves are stupid and sometimes
    innocent people are caught up in
    bad things. There is also guilty by
    association. People really watch who their friends are. A lot of the
    fatalities are and were to actual
    copper thieves who touch high
    voltage wires and become crispy
    critters. They are uneducated and
    dropouts and/or jobless people
    who know very little about high
    transmission lines etc. The really
    big lines are aluminum not copper
    because copper is too heavy so
    some thieves got upset or dead
    for 65 cents a pound instead of
    $4 a pound the punishment should
    be severe but it can't be more
    severe than death, family destruction, or being a vegetable
    forever The family of the victim
    in this case if he was innocent
    should press for the maximum penalty for reckless homicide etc.
    In Alaska it is major felony and
    this should be too causing a death
    during the commission of a felony

  • Laura Hazlett

    a life lost is very sad no matter how it happened>>>sending prayers out to family and friends of this young man

  • wvtd

    my name is tom and I am easy to find. I will be fishing by the new river this weekend. I am the one with the .45 on my side. stop by and say hi.

  • thornton

    Groundhogs would be a possibility if one can hunt them during turkey season.
    But...that would be the reason for my question.

  • Larry

    The only thing in season that they would be hunting in the daylight are turkies, and most people turkey hunt with a shotgun, not a rifle.

  • thornton

    What critters were they hunting?

  • Larry

    THURMOND, W.Va. -- Fayette County authorities have identified a man who died after he shot down an active power line and picked it up on Wednesday, police said.

    Deputies found the man, 22-year-old Dalton Newhouse of Oak Hill, along Berry Mountain Road in Thurmond at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said in news releases.

    Newhouse and an accomplice used a rifle to shoot down a high-tension power transmission line, police said. They planned to strip the line of its copper wiring to later sell as scrap metal.

    When Newhouse picked up the wire, Kessler said it killed him instantly. His accomplice was identified as Charles Raymond Norris, 22, of Oak Hill, who was later arrested.

    Norris was charged with an attempt to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility.

    He was arraigned in Fayette County Magistrate Court, where he posted his own bail.

    Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said about 50 customers were without electricity for three hours. He called copper thefts a "tragedy" and urged would-be thieves to think twice.

    "Always assume a power line is energized," Moye said. "In copper theft they are not only ignoring that advice but they touching and cutting a wire intentionally."

  • Larry

    With all due respect, how in the world would you know all this, were you there and a witness to everything that happened?

  • Larry

    So to kill someone, a man shot a power line, causing it to drop at just the right time to electrocute his intended victim, I'll buy that.

  • dont you DARE

    let me make this clear to you once again he was not stealing copper... the line was shot by somebody else because the deceased told him that he was leaving his sister and going back to another girl.the boy took his gun shot the line and after he was electrocuted and died took the gun and threw it back in the mans truck and left him laying their dead. As far as justice being served I hope it is served on you one day for having no heart. All of you want to believe that he's a drug addict or he was stealing copper he was a hunter and had a good job in the mines he was not stealing anything because he did not need the money he had plenty. Stop spreading vile rumors about a 22 year old who lost his life. if it was was anything it was a cover up for murder. I hope that all of you that are talking trash have karma bite you so that you understand the hell you are putting his family through but talking this online. May God have mercy on you because if I knew who you were I wouldn't...

  • wvtd

    i am shocked that people are so damn stupid as to try to steal copper wire from a live line.

  • JJ

    Still not sorry

  • Tom

    You're right, Smokey. It is sad to lose your power like that.

  • lee arthur

    Justice is served.

  • Larry

    Have you ever heard the saying, "when you sleep with dogs you get fleas". If this person was closely associated with a thief and most likely a drug addict, there is a very good chance he was also.

  • dont you DARE

    I apologize for my typo it should say the copper thief LEFT the young man laying there dead and took off to avoid being caught by the police and his body was found by Park Service. Now imagine if that was your child with an idiot friend... Watch what you say karma is right behind you!

  • dont you DARE

    let me make something very clear the news does not have the whole story I'm a very close friend of the family and this young man was not stupid enough to steal copper... now the boy with him yes stupid enough to steal copper. They left to go hunting this morning when the boy with him shot down a powerline in an attempt to get the copper the innocent man was killed was not aware that the boy was going to do this and was struck by the cable as it came down. at that point it is our understanding that the copper thieves the young man laying there dead and took off in hopes to not get caught by the police. He has since been arrested and is charged with at least two felonies at this point.Please do not judge and talk crap about someone that lost their life because of the stupidity of someone else. This boy sat on my couch Monday telling me plans that he was making for the rest of his life, he had a good job he was not a copper thief!!!!! God help all of you for shooting your mouth off before you know the entire story, there but for the grace of God goes me... Remember that ... karma is well karma.... unless you can offer prayer for the family please do the world a favor and keep your fingers off the keyboard go get a job maybe you'll have something better to do then talk about something that you have no clue about...


    Nobody deserves that, BUT stuff happens. One less thief and hopefully a lesson for others.

  • Stan

    O pity for the idiot, what an electrifying death....

  • bill gloshen

    wander if the theft was for hillbilly heroin?

  • JJ

    I could not be less sorry for this idiot.

  • Wowbagger

    A couple of years ago I was in Fayetteville and a fast moving storm or maybe an accident caused by the storm knocked out the power for Fayetteville and the area south of the gorge and north of Oak Hill. The outage seemed to last a long time. The next morning I heard that the repair required some copper cable and someone had stolen the entire inventory of the cable from Appalachian Power's warehouse. They had to go somewhere else in Appalachian Power's service area for cable to fix the problem.

  • Jo

    I am sorry for the family, but so tired of people not willing to work a job. Why do the rules not apply to them?

  • Smokey

    Very sad.

  • GregG

    Sorry to hear about those 50 customers being without electric for 3 hours.

  • Jim N Charleston

    A Darwin Award Nominee perhaps?

  • Barry Bledsoe

    Ask and ye shall receive. Reap what you sow. I wonder if he would be alive today if he had been willing to work a real job instead of stealing for a living?

  • Josh

    Perhaps this is evolution's way of eliminating total idiots from the gene pool.

  • Shawn

    Don't steal!