State Police Trooper Murdered by Mingo County Man

A guy from Mingo County has been charged with killing State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard by shooting him.

During a video meeting at the Mingo County Courthouse in Williamson on Saturday morning, 29-year-old Timothy Kennedy of Matewan was charged with first-degree murder.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, state police said that before troopers came, Kennedy shot Benjamin Baldwin, 39, of Matewan with a rifle. Baldwin is getting care in a hospital in Charleston.

Troopers said that they are still trying to figure out why.

Kennedy is being kept in the Southwestern Regional Jail without a bond.

Troopers said that Maynard died from his injuries after they went to the first call on Beech Creek Road. He was taken to the Logan Regional Medical Center, where he died. Around 7 p.m. Friday, Gov. Jim Justice said that Maynard had died.

After looking for Kennedy for seven hours, state cops were able to catch him. Around 10 p.m. Friday, he was taken into custody.

Graduation events at Mingo Central High School were supposed to happen on Friday night, but they had to be moved to Saturday morning because of the manhunt. People were told to stay in their homes until Kennedy was caught.

On Friday night, the body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office. It was taken to a place where organs can be donated on Saturday.

Maynard’s death is the third time in the last two and a half years that a police officer has been shot and killed in West Virginia. Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker was shot and killed in the Birch River area a year ago today, on June 3, 2022. In December 2020, Charleston Police Officer Cassie Johnson was shot and killed when she went to a parking complaint.

Saturday, people from all over the country kept writing about Maynard’s death. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear took notice of Maynard because he grew up close to Williamson in the nearby town of Belfry, Kentucky.

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

In 2015, Maynard was given the Life Saving Award by the State Police. He helped save the life of a man who was being chased in the Eastern Panhandle.

In a statement made Saturday, State Senate President Craig Blair acknowledged what Maynard had done:

“When Sgt. Maynard was a young cop with the State Police in the Eastern Panhandle, he was given a Lifesaving Award for what he did on the job. Throughout his work, he was always a good example of kindness, bravery, and service. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice he made for his town and for our people,” Blair wrote.

The statement went on to say, “The Senate joins Governor Justice and all West Virginians in praying for Sgt. Maynard’s family, friends, and fellow police officers. We pray for the safety and protection of all first responders in West Virginia, and we thank each of you for serving your towns and the state.”

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