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Mingo County man charged with murder of State Police trooper

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A Mingo County man has been arraigned in connection with the fatal shooting of State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard.

Sgt. Cory Maynard

Timothy Kennedy, 29, of Matewan. was arraigned on a first degree murder charge during a video hearing Saturday morning at the Mingo County Courthouse in Williamson.

State police said in a Saturday afternoon statement that Kennedy shot Benjamin Baldwin, 39, of Matewan, with a rifle before troopers arrived. Baldwin is being treated in a Charleston hospital.

Troopers said they are still investigating a motive.

Kennedy is being held without bond at the Southwestern Regional Jail.

Troopers said Maynard was fatally wounded after responding to the initial call on Beech Creek Road. He was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center where he died. Gov. Jim Justice confirmed Maynard’s death around 7 p.m. Friday.

State police took Kennedy into custody after a seven hour manhunt. He was arrested around 10 p.m. Friday.

Graduation ceremonies at Mingo Central High School on Friday night were postponed to Saturday morning due to the manhunt. Residents were urged to stay indoors until Kennedy was captured.

The body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office Friday night. It was transported to an organ donation facility Saturday.

Maynard’s death marks the third fatal police officer shooting in West Virginia in the last two and a half years. It was on this day one year ago that Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker was shot and killed in the Birch River area on June 3, 2022. Charleston Police Officer Cassie Johnson died after being shot while responding to a parking complaint in Dec. 2020.

Reaction about Maynard’s death continued to pour in from across state lines Saturday. Maynard, who grew up close to Williamson in neighboring Belfry, Kentucky, caught the attention of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

Beshear wrote on Twitter he was “heartbroken”, and that Maynard was “a hero who sacrificed everything to make our communities safer.”

Maynard was honored by State Police for the Life Saving Award in 2015. He saved a man’s life who was involved in a pursuit in the Eastern Panhandle.

State Senate President Craig Blair recognized Maynard’s actions in a statement released Saturday:

“As a young officer with our State Police in the Eastern Panhandle, Sgt. Maynard was recognized with a Lifesaving Award for his actions in the line of duty. He continued to exemplify the qualities of compassion, bravery, and service throughout his career. His ultimate sacrifice in his service to his community and to our citizens will not be forgotten,” Blair wrote.

The statement went on to say, “The Senate joins with Governor Justice and our fellow West Virginians across the state in praying for Sgt. Maynard’s family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers. We pray for the safety and protection of all of West Virginia’s first responders, and thank each of you for your service to your communities and the State of West Virginia.”

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