Former WVU basketball player & other man face charges after hostage investigation in Mon County


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A former West Virginia University men’s basketball player and another man are facing charges after a call about a woman being held hostage lead sheriff’s deputies to find drugs in a home.

Offender Picture
Aaric Murray

On April 16, deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for a welfare check at a residence at 536 Independence Hills Village in Morgantown in reference to an advisory that a female was being held hostage at that address over an argument about a rental car, according to a criminal complaint.

Offender Picture
Richard Johnson

When deputies arrived on scene, they made contact with Aaric Murray, 30, and Richard Johnson, 23, both of Morgantown, who invited them into the residence and Murray and Johnson informed deputies they had no knowledge of the female being held hostage, deputies said.

Both men allowed deputies to search the residence to make sure the female wasn’t there, and during the search, deputies said they found a bag of crack rock cocaine, a bag of marijuana, cutting agents and drug packaging materials.

Upon a search of Murray’s person, deputies found $6,415 in U.S. currency, which he said he won from gambling at a local hotspot, but had no vouchers to prove this and “none of the hotspots in town are open due to the pandemic,” according to the complaint.

Deputies then took Murray into custody as a result of capias warrants he had against him; deputies searched Johnson and found him in possession of $2,768 in U.S. currency, as well as a “small amount of controlled substances” and taken into custody, deputies said.

Aaric Murray
Courtesy: West Virginia University Athletics

A search warrant was later obtained for the residence and during the search, deputies said they found approximately 5 grams of crack rock cocaine, three grams of marijuana, an eighth of a gram of heroin, packaging materials, cutting agents, a set of digital scales, $100 in U.S. currency, four handguns, multiple ledgers and several cell phones.

During an interview, Johnson admitted that his only form of income is $600 a month for disability, according to the complaint.

Johnson has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $20,012 bond.

Murray has been charged as a result of the capias warrants against him. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail. Murray was a center on the WVU basketball team in 2013, after transferring from LaSalle University. After the 2013 season, Murray transferred to Texas Southern University.

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