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Bristol man's trial in Scott County murder case to begin Tuesday

Wes Bunch • Mar 17, 2013 at 7:31 AM

GATE CITY — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the trial of Bristol, Tenn., resident Charlie Joe Ramey for his alleged role in the Christmas 2011 murder of a Nickelsville man.

Ramey, 61, is facing first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Gregory Jerome Hale at Hale’s home in Nickelsville.

The trial, to be held in Scott County Circuit Court, is expected to last four days.

Ramey, who has maintained his innocence since being indicted in 2012, could face life in prison if convicted on the first-degree murder charge.

Due to the timing of the trial, Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung declined to comment on Ramey’s case.

Late last month, McClung’s office had a motion for a jury view of the alleged murder scene granted by 30th Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore.

At the time, McClung said the motion was sought to provide potential jurors with a better understanding of the case.

Ramey’s co-defendant and the alleged gunman in the case — Daniel Eugene Norris, 31, of Bristol, Tenn. — is also scheduled to stand trial later this year on a charge of capital murder in connection with Hale’s death.

Norris’ trial is set to begin Aug. 27. Norris could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Authorities said Norris is facing capital murder because they believe he actually “pulled the trigger” on the firearm that killed Hale.

Authorities allege that Ramey accompanied Norris to Hale’s residence late Christmas Eve night to commit a robbery, but a murder took place instead.

At a preliminary hearing for Ramey in July 2012, authorities presented evidence that drugs and robbery were motives in the killing.

The Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office testified that Hale died of gunshot wounds he received to the back and side of his head from close range with a small-caliber handgun.

Both Ramey and Norris are being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield.

Scott County authorities had originally charged another man with Hale’s death, but those charges were dropped after an anonymous tip led them to Ramey and Norris.

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