Conviction in Kanawha County murder case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County circuit judge has found a man guilty of murder in a January 2019 shooting death.

Gerard Maxwell (WVRJA)

Judge Kenneth Ballard convicted Gerard Maxwell, 35, of Rand, on charges of first-degree murder, being a prohibited person with a gun and domestic battery in the killing of South Charleston resident Marian Chapman.

Chapman died on a front porch in Rand three years ago.

Maxwell opted for a bench trial instead of a jury trial. Ballard heard testimony last month and handed down the verdict Thursday.

Maxwell maintained he shot Chapman in self-defense after she fired two shots at him before he shot her. The prosecution presented evidence to show an obstruction caused Chapman’s gun from being fired.

Ballard will hold a hearing at a later date on whether Maxwell should be granted mercy when he’s sentenced by the judge.

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