Man charged with murder in Mason County death investigation

Local News

LEON, WV (WOWK) – A West Virginia man has been arrested in connection to a man found dead in an abandoned Mason County home.

Giles L. Hysell Jr., 41, of Leon, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the investigation, according to the West Virginia State Police. Troopers found a man dead while responding to a call at an abandoned home in the 5000 block of Destiny Road of an unresponsive male with a possible gunshot wound around 9:55 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

The West Virginia State Police say the victim has been identified as Mitchell Clay Smith, 36, of Leon. Troopers say during the investigation, it was determined Smith had left his home Monday, April 27 and had been reported missing to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the WVSP, Smith’s vehicle was unaccounted for at the onset of the investigation but was later recovered from a creek near Red House in Putnam County. The WVSP says Franklin Montgomery Long, 21, of Leon and Samantha R. Young, 29, of Hometown, WV have also been arrested in connection with the case.

State police say Smith, Long and Young were allegedly traveling to the scene to facilitate a drug transaction with the Hysell. State police say according to witness statements and corroborating evidence, Hysell allegedly hid in an upstairs area of the home with a firearm, and then shot Smith after he entered the home.

The investigation is ongoing, and the WVSP asks anyone with information concerning the case to contact the Mason County Detachment of the WVSP at 304-675-0850.

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