WHEELING, W.Va. — Two northern panhandle oil and gas workers who admitted to police they were in a fight with two men they didn’t know early Saturday morning are charged with murder.
Police arrested Craig Tyler Peacock, 22 of Clewiston, Fla., and Jarrett Mathis Chandler, 24 of Winnfield, La., early Tuesday and charged them in the death of Wheeling Jesuit University student Kevin Figaniak. The 21-year-old senior lacrosse player died Sunday from injuries suffered in the fight. He and a friend had been at a bar Friday night and were walkin back to campus when Figaniak’s friend said three or four men jumped them.
The criminal complaint against Peacock and Chandler said the two were charged after police viewed video surveillance, combed through social media and conducted interviews. Police found the suspects at an Ohio County campsite where some oil and gas workers stay.
Both men agreed to give videotaped statements. They both told police they and their friends got into a verbal altercation with two men they didn’t know early Saturday morning. Peacock and Chandler said they followed the men down Edgington Lane, through the intersection and onto Locust Avenue, where the fight began.
“Suspect Chandler specifically stated that he engaged in striking the individual he was fighting,” police said in the criminal complaint.
Peacock told police he may have “kicked” the man he was fighting.
Both Peacock and Chandler told police they and their friends left the area while the men were on the ground. Figaniak suffered massive head injuries and died Sunday at a Pittsburgh hospital. His autopsy was completed Tuesday in Morgantown. Figaniak’s friend wasn’t as seriously injured and was able to speak with police.
Peacock and Chandler are being held on murder charges in the Northern Regional Jail on $1 million bail each.
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline” video surveillance from area businesses has greatly helped in the investigation.
“It headed us in the right direction,” he said, adding that more arrests could ensue.
“We’ve located two. We are working hard still. There’s a lot of loose ends to be tied up and we are looking at trying to locate a third or fourth individual.”
Peacock and Chandler are oil and gas workers in the region, but the chief cautioned against characterizing the workers in the area as problem causers.
“We shouldn’t paint them with a broad brush,” he said. “I have not seen any substantial police contacts or anything that causes us concern out of the ordinary.”