MASON COUNTY — A son has pleaded guilty to a second degree murder charge in the shooting death of his father.
Thomas M. Jarrell, 18, Point Pleasant, was 17 when he was accused of killing his father, Ron Jarrell, 45, at his Ripley Rd. home back in April.
On Nov. 9, Thomas had his status moved from juvenile to adult with his case now falling under the jurisdiction of the criminal court, according to records filed in Mason County Circuit Court. The West Virginia Code, section 49-5-10, allows for this transfer of a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe the juvenile was at least 14 years old when committing specific crimes, including murder.
Also on Nov. 9, Mason County Circuit Court records show Thomas pleaded guilty to an information of murder in the second degree. An information is an accusation exhibited against a person for a criminal offense without an indictment. Informations are presented by a competent public officer instead of a grand jury which hands down indictments.
Thomas reappeared in Mason County Circuit Court on Thursday when Judge David W. Nibert ordered him to the Anthony Center in White Sulphur Springs for a 60-day evaluation. After the evaluation period, a status hearing and eventually sentencing will likely be scheduled though no further court dates have been set at this point.
Thomas was still being housed in the Western Regional Jail as of Friday evening where he has been since Nov. 9 when his case went from juvenile to adult status.
Back in April, law enforcement officials say Thomas shot his father multiple times with a handgun and then fled in his father’s vehicle. Thomas was later apprehended by Huntington City Police within the city limits of Huntington. At that time, Thomas was facing murder, grand larceny and petit larceny charges.
The Jarrell murder was the fifth murder in Mason County in a year and a half.