FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Legal proceedings are moving forward for two individuals charged in a deadly shooting incident in 2018.
According to Marion County Prosecutor Jeffrey Freeman, William “Punkin” Littleton pleaded guilty on March 5 in front of Marion County Circuit Court Judge David Janes to charges of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to violate drug laws, even though he had been originally indicted on a murder charge.
In court, while under oath and during a two hour debriefing, Littleton gave evidence to support that he had been lured to a residence by Richard Moore, who had also been originally indicted on a murder charge, and Justin Cassella, the victim who had been found dead at the scene, on the premise that they would be doing a drug deal, Freeman said.
However, Freeman said that during his testimony, Littleton said that Cassella and Moore were conspiring to rob him, and when the robbery attempt occurred, two guns were drawn and fired, with one of the discharges resulting in Cassella’s death.
Freeman said that Littleton’s testimony was corroborated by evidence found on scene, and that as a result, Moore’s charges have been modified via warrant to robbery and conspiracy to commit a robbery. Freeman will present Moore’s new charges to the Marion County grand jury in its June term, he said.
Since Littleton had been a prospective victim in the incident, the court could not charge him with murder in relation to it, Freeman said. He will be sentenced May 13 at 1:30 p.m. on the charges of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Before the sentencing commences, Janes ordered a pre-sentence report and investigation to take place.
Littleton is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, while Moore is in the North Central Regional Jail.