Barbour County man faces child abuse, wanton endangerment charges

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A Barbour County man has been arrested after troopers said he physically abused a 14-year-old boy and fired a pistol within close proximity of a 7-year-old boy.

On February 4, 2019, troopers with the West Virginia State Police said they received a Department of Health and Human Resources referral that a 14-year-old boy had been physically abused by Michael Marsh, 44, of Moatsville.

Troopers said they conducted an interview with the boy and his 7-year-old brother at the Harrison County Children Advocacy Center in Clarksburg. During the interview, troopers said the 7-year-old boy said he was watching television on the couch when Marsh got upset and stated he was going to shoot the television with his gun. The boy then told troopers that Marsh then pulled out his gun and fired it inside the residence. Troopers said the fired bullet struck a mirror that was located in close proximity of where the 7-year-old boy was sitting.

Next, troopers said they interviewed the 14-year-old boy who told them that Marsh became upset with him, came into the living room where he was watching television and struck him with a belt across his legs. The 14-year-old boy told troopers that the argument escalated to a physical altercation, where Marsh struck him in the face with his fist, causing injuries to his face and lip area. The 14-year-old boy said he tried to defend himself by placing Marsh in a headlock and was then bit by Marsh on his arm, according to court documents.

On February 20, 2019 Marsh was interviewed by State Police concerning his child abuse allegations. Troopers said Marsh confessed to shooting the pistol inside of the residence, which caused the bullet to strike the mirror that was close to the 7-year-old-boy. Marsh told troopers that he became upset with the 7-year-old boy when he didn’t pick his backpack up off of the floor, according to court documents.

Troopers said Marsh also confessed that he became upset with the 14-year-old boy when he would not help clean up the house. Marsh said he then went to his bedroom to retrieve his belt, returned to the living room, and swung the belt at the 14-year-old boy’s legs. Marsh also admitted to striking the 14-year-old boy in the mouth, and told troopers he bit him because the boy placed him into a head lock. 

Marsh has been charged with wanton endangerment involving a firearm and child abuse resulting in injury, according to court documents.

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