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Update: Victor Lee Thompson murder case goes to Wood County Grand Jury

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A Wood County grand jury will hear the case of a Memorial Day weekend murder in Parkersburg.

Victor Lee Thompson waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in Wood County Magistrate Court.

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Previous story: 6/10/2021

Bond was denied Thursday for a Parkersburg man arrested after a week-long search that followed the shooting death of an Akron, Ohio man.

Details of the argument that led to the death of 36-year old Darren Jimmie Salaam were revealed in Wood County Circuit Court.

Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said Thompson went to see Salaam May 30 at a Parkersburg residence “to settle a debt” possibly related to a drug transaction.

”The victim in this case got up and attempted to figure out what was going on,” Lefebure told Judge Jason Wharton, “and the defendant at that time fired one round through a curtain and the divider between two rooms, struck Mr. Salaam in the chest. He was able ultimately to get out of the house (but) ultimately succumbed to his injuries later on that day.”

Thompson and his girlfriend were arrested a week later in Ritchie County.

Lefebure said during Thursday’s bond hearing Thompson is believed to have ties to the organization Aryan Brotherhood, described as a racist prison hate group.

He said after his arrest, Thompson made statements to a sheriff’s deputy which included racist language.

“He made a remark to Deputy Day, as he was taken into custody, something to the effect of, we white people need to stay together,” Lefebure told the court.

Noting Salaam, a Black man, passed away several hours after the shooting, Thompson’s attorney, Beth Lebow, unsuccessfully argued bond be set for him.

“When he left the scene, the victim was still alive,” Lebow noted. “He did not know the individual passed away until later.”

The defendant has a previous criminal record dating back to the early 2000′s, including a conviction for operating a meth lab and a parole violation for a sentence for that conviction.

Thompson, currently charged with murder, has a preliminary hearing scheduled June 16 in Wood County Magistrate Court.

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