Shot ends crime spree
by Debbie Rolen
MAN – A man on the run from a murder charge was shot and killed by law enforcement after appearing to go on one last crime spree, which may have included another murder.
At age 37, John Edward Dempsey spent most of his adult life in trouble with the law. He started out facing charges multiple times for worthless checks. Then charges of reckless driving, evading an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and littering were added to his resume. Over the past several years, charges against Dempsey have been petit larceny, burglary and grand larceny. He was indicted in September 2012 for burglary and grand larceny for an incident that occurred in July 2012 and was free on a $10,000 bond awaiting his trial.
After the body of Grover Morrison was discovered at his residence on Jan. 8, Dempsey became a suspect. Mr. Morrison’s car and some of his belongings had been stolen. The car was recovered in the Man area, where Dempsey may have had his last run in with the law.
Dempsey had been hiding out in the home of Freddie “Pete” Williams. A witness said Dempsey had tied Williams up and stolen his medication several months ago. Thursday evening, Dempsey left Williams’ home carrying a shotgun and tried to get into the home of a neighbor, who told the story of his encounter with Dempsey.
““I was watching the National evening news Thursday night when a man stepped up on my porch. He had a ball cap on and light jacket. At first I didn’t recognize him because he had lost weight. It was Dempsey and I knew the shotgun he was carrying belonged to Freddie. I grabbed my pistol and told him to leave. I had already told my wife to go in the bedroom and call 911. I kept coming toward him with the pistol pointed at him, trying to stall for the police to come. He went to another neighbor, Pam Irwin, stole her SUV and headed up Buffalo Creek. I called Freddie’s house to tell him Dempsey was on the loose and to make sure his door was locked. He didn’t answer the phone and I had to leave a message. ”
Dempsey led police on a 10-minute chase, which ended when Dempsey got out of the car and was shot and killed by police.
About the same time in the same area Dempsey stole the vehicle, police discovered Williams’ body. He had been stabbed to death.
The West Virginia State Police and Logan Police Department are investigating to see if Dempsey had anything to do with Williams’ murder.
Banner Correspondent Jerry Fekete added to this report
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