1 charged, 2 sought in Williamson murder and apartment fire

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Williamson Police said they believed three people were after drugs and money when they allegedly broke into a Mingo County apartment on Saturday, attacked a man there with an ax before stabbing him and then set a fire to try to cover up the crimes.

As of Monday morning, one of the three suspects, James Church, 32, of Williamson, was being held in the Southwestern Regional Jail on charges of murder and arson.

James Church

Two other suspects wanted on the same charges were being sought.

They were identified as Charles Jarvis and Terry Jarvis.

Separate charges were pending against two women.

The victim’s body was found Saturday night after the fire at a three-story, six-unit apartment building on Williamson’s Elm Street was extinguished.

Investigators said an ax was used the beat the victim who was also stabbed.

Involved in the investigation with the Williamson Police Department were the Williamson Fire Department and the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office.

Two Williamson firefighters had burn injuries after working to put out the fire.

Three residents were treated for injuries. None were said to be life-threatening injuries.

The fire forced more than half a dozen people out of their homes.

Williamson Fire officials described the apartment building as “a total loss with considerable areas of collapse.”

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