Plea deal accepted in Monongalia County drug-related killing

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — One of two suspects in a Monongalia County drug-related murder has pleaded guilty.

Arlo Romano (WVRJA)

Arlo Romano, 43, was originally charged with first-degree murder along with Cleotis “Ghost” Eppes, 48, of Harper Woods, Michigan, in the May 2022 drug debt shooting death of Matt Moore on Round Bottom Road.

Romano agreed to plea guilty Monday to second-degree murder in a deal with prosecutors. Monongalia County Circuit Judge Paul Gwaltney accepted the plea agreement during Monday’s hearing.

Romano was on the run for about five days in June 2022 while deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department closed a section of Chestnut Ridge Park during the search.

Deputies said Romano was able to steal a motorcycle from a Preston County resident and escape to the Uniontown area, where he was arrested following a shoplifting call at the local Walmart.

Romano faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced by Gwaltney on May 7.

Eppes remains in jail without bail.

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