CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A man who previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Harrison County in the shooting death of Joseph Frye was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with mercy before Judge Christopher McCarthy.

The sentence is in relation to an incident that occurred Sept. 5, 2019, when Booth shot and killed Frye on Booth Road in Quiet Dell. He was booked into North Central Regional Jail at 12:50 a.m. the next day, where he has been until the sentencing.

Richard Booth

Booth was indicted on the charge of first-degree murder in the May 2020 term of the Harrison County grand jury, and he entered a guilty plea to the charge on Aug. 13.

As a part of the plea agreement, Booth would receive life in prison for the charge of murder in the first degree, but he would be eligible for parole after 15 years, McCarthy said.

During the sentencing, Judy Frye—the victim’s mother—spoke about how her life had changed since the incident. She told McCarthy that in the 12 months since losing her son, she hasn’t slept, and she has trouble getting through the day.

“I’m broken, your honor, I’m completely broken.”

Judy Frye, Joesph Frye’s mother

Judy Frye told the court that she knows her son would want her to forgive Booth for what he had done, but she “can’t right now.” After Judy Frye spoke, Tiffany Booth—the victim’s girlfriend—also spoke, but she could not say too much before becoming overcome with emotion.

After hearing Judy Frye and Tiffany Booth speak, McCarthy prepared his ruling for Richard Booth’s sentence. McCarthy stated that Richard Booth “shall be confined for life with mercy pursuant to the pleas agreement.”

McCarthy also ordered that Richard Booth pay restitution to the West Virginia Crime Victim’s fund in the amount of 7,447.50, as well as additional court costs, within a 12 month period.