FAIRMONT, W.Va. – A Marion County man who was accused of kidnapping a girl, getting her pregnant and causing her to miscarry was arraigned on two assault charges on Wednesday.
Brian-Merchant Jones was charged with first degree murder, kidnapping and malicious assault in April after police said he kidnapped a girl, held her captive for more than a year, got her pregnant and then kicked her in the abdomen, causing her to have a miscarriage. After the murder and kidnapping charges were dropped in June, Merchant-Jones still faced two charges of malicious assault.
Merchant-Jones pleaded not guilty to both counts of malicious assault in Marion County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon. Merchant-Jones’s trial is scheduled to begin Monday, September 4 at 9 a.m.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Two charges have been dropped against a Marion County man accused of kidnapping a girl, getting her pregnant and causing her to miscarry.
Charges of first degree murder and kidnapping against Brian Merchant-Jones have been dropped, at least temporarily, according to Marion County Assistant Prosecutor Krista Marinaro. Merchant-Jones is accused of kidnapping a girl, holding her captive for more than a year, impregnating her and kicking her in the abdomen, causing her to have a miscarriage.
The prosecution is currently awaiting a report from the medical examiner, so it decided that proceeding with the murder and kidnapping charges at this time would not be appropriate, according to Marinaro. Once the report comes back, the charges against Merchant-Jones could be refiled, Marinaro said.
The Marion County grand jury has indicted Merchant-Jones on two counts of malicious assault. He is accused in one incident of choking the girl and striking her with a bottle and his fists. In another incident, Merchant-Jones is accused of choking the girl, striking her with his fists and biting her, according to court documents.
Merchant-Jones is scheduled to be arraigned June 12 on those charges.