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.

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  • 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

  • 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."

  • 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

      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

      What critters were they hunting?

      • 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

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

    • 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.

  • 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