071814_Metz
MetroNews staff photo

WESTON, W. Va. – One of two men indicted in a 1999 Lewis County murder case has entered a plea of not guilty.

Joseph Metz, 39, of Weston entered the plea to two counts of first degree murder Friday morning before Judge Kurt Hall.

The defense also filed a motion to dismiss the case.

Judge Hall set a hearing for this motion for next week and jury selection for the trial in October.

Metz, along with Charles Steven Freeman, 51, of Archbold, Ohio, were indicted by a Lewis County grand jury on July 15.

Freeman was re-arrested on Wednesday while Metz was re-arrested in January.

Both are charged in connection to the 1999 disappearance of Metz’ mother Mary Friend, 46 and grandmother Maxine Stalnaker, 69.

The two, along with David Hughes, 58, were charged in the case in 2013 but the charges were later dropped in light of additional information in the case arising.

Friend and Stalnaker went missing from Lewis County on December 1, 1999 and Friend’s car was later found five days later in Clarksburg.

Freeman was scheduled for arraignment Friday morning but, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, officials are waiting for his extradition to the state.

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