FAIRMONT, W.Va. – After entering a guilty plea last month in Marion County Circuit Court to the May 21, 2018 shooting death of Dustin Myers, Austin Mays, 18, was sentenced Tuesday in court.
Mays will serve 40 years in prison for second degree murder.
“Not only is Dustin Myers’ life over, but this has had an impact on both the family and friends of Myers and Mays, but this by no means excuses the acts of Austin Mays,” explained Marion County Judge Patrick Wilson.
Marion County Prosecutor Jeffrey Freeman said the sentencing was held Tuesday to allow some out-of-state members of Myers’ family to attend.
Cheryl Diane Myers, the mother of Dustin Myers, gave a statement in court. “Even just cleaning the house and doing daily chores is a constant reminder of what happened. He [Dustin] would bend over backwards for people. He was just so full of life. This is something that should have never happened. He did not deserve to die,” said Diane Myers.
Mays, who had been charged with first degree murder and was indicted by the Marion County grand jury earlier this year, pleaded guilty April 3 before Wilson to the lesser offense of second degree murder as part of a plea agreement.
Originally arrested as a juvenile, Mays was later transferred from juvenile status to adult status.
Dustin Myers’ body was found May 21, 2018 in a vehicle in a stream along Pinchgut Hollow Road, which led to the sheriff’s department opening a homicide investigation.
Deputies checked the vehicle and found Dustin Myers dead. He was alone in the vehicle. As to the motive for the crime, Freeman said there was an argument and “a very brief one, at that.”
Mays would be eligible for parole in 13 years, 4 months, which is one third of his sentence, Freeman said.