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Charleston police detectives not rushing double murder investigation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston man told a car dealership Tuesday afternoon that he needed a car because he had murdered someone. A few minutes later Charleston police made a grisly discovery.

Nicholas David Hanshaw (WVRJA)

Chief of Detectives Lt. Tony Hazelett said the door of the apartment at Vandalia Terrace was open slightly when officers arrived. He said they soon noticed a woman and boy were dead. They had been stabbed to death.

Police have charged Nicholas David Hanshaw, 38, with two counts of first-degree murder. Detectives said he killed his mother, Sherry Jean Russell, 62, and a 10-year-old boy, who Hazelett said was also a family member.

As for a motive, Hazelett was reluctant to release one at this stage of the investigation.

“We’re still looking at it and are investigating that right now. We’re trying to piece it all together,” Hazelett said.

The public can also help police, Hazelett said.

Tony Hazelett

“If you have any information on this family—something that may have caught someone’s eye a month ago about him or the family or anything. This is a very unusual case. Something that could help us piece it together, the motives, all of that,” Hazelett said.

The tips can be anonymous at 304-348-6480.

Hanshaw had blood splattered on his clothes when walked into the Dutch Miller dealership on MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston Tuesday afternoon and said what he said. Hazelett said confessions like this one have happened before.

“I’ve been here going on over 24 years and this probably makes the third one like this, similar, who has walked in and confessed to that,” he said.

Hazelett said it’s a tragic case and police won’t rush their investigation.

“Murder is all bad and when it involves a juvenile it takes a toll too on first responders. But it’s all bad and that’s why we are taking our time, going through all the evidence, going over everything in which we can piece them crime together for prosecution,” Hazelett said.

Hazelett said he wasn’t familiar with Hanshaw personally but he is known to other officers.

Hanshaw is being held in the Southcentral Regional Jail without bail.

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