MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – A Berkeley County man on trial for fleeing police shot himself forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. Tracy Orr, 51, of Hedgesville, was found at his home Thursday morning with a bullet wound to the head.
Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said the trial got underway Wednesday. She got the call about Orr’s condition one day later.
“The state’s case was almost complete and we got word right before they were to begin the trial again that he had shot himself with a small caliber handgun,” according to the prosecutor.
Orr is in stable condition at Winchester(Va.) Medical Center.
“Right now, we are expecting him to survive but we’re just on hold at this time,” said Games-Neely.
Berkeley County Circuit Judge Gray Silver, III, granted the defense a mistrial. Games-Neely said if Orr recovers he will be retried on the one felony count of fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference. However, she explained, his actions complicate the judicial process.
“In retrying I’m sure they’re going to raise issues of is he competent to assist his counsel,” Games-Neely said. “It’s not something we haven’t encountered before.”
Regardless, the prosecutor said the case is going to be costly.
“It is a cost to the taxpayer. People don’t realize that trials are a very expensive processes no matter how complicated or simple they seem to be. But they are very expensive processes,” explained the prosecutor. “So we’ll just have to start again and if he’s convicted, those costs are taxed against the defendant.”
Orr is also facing separate charges of arson and fraud in an indictment returned on Tuesday