CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A St. Albans man found guilty in the 2010 murder of a North Charleston drug dealer will serve his extended sentence, state Supreme Court justices recently affirmed.
In a weeklong trial in 2012, a Kanawha County jury found Garland Lee Murray guilty of nighttime burglary, kidnapping and first-degree murder.
This case stems from the death of 31-year-old Gregory Poole, who was found dead in a Second Avenue yard with gunshot wounds to the head.
A Kanawha County jury found Murray guilty later that year of being a recidivist. Prosecutors sought action based on the state's "three strikes" rule that allows enhanced sentences for repeat offenders.
According to court records, Murray was sentenced last year to not less than one nor more than 15 years in prison for nighttime burglary, life in prison with the possibility of parole for murder and life in prison for attempted kidnapping.
Court documents state this sentence reflected the enhancement for his previous felony convictions.
In the Dec. 2 memorandum decision, which is an abbreviated decision on the merits, justices affirmed Murray's conviction but noted Murray may still seek remedy for ineffective assistance of counsel in a habeas corpus proceeding.
The high court's ruling states the case began in April 2010 when Murray's brother, Deshawne Taylor, entered the home of Gregory and Ebony Poole. The court document notes at that time, both the Pooles were on supervised release from federal prison for convictions related to the sale of illegal drugs.
According to previous reports, testimony revealed Murray and Taylor were the Pooles' drug customers.
The brothers were trying to force the couple to show them their "stash house" where most of the drugs and money were kept."
The memorandum decision says Taylor forced Ebony Poole outside, where she said she saw Murray sitting in the car with Gregory and pointing a gun to his back.
Ebony Poole later escaped and Murray, Taylor and Gregory Poole drove away.