Roane County man charged in fatal shooting


Bobby Criner Jr.

ROANE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia State Police say a Clendenin man, Robert J. Criner,  has been arrested and charged with the First Degree Murder of another Roane County man.

Police were called to the scene of the shooting on Amma Road in Clendenin just after 8 p.m. Sunday, April 19, 2020 where they found the victim, Bruce Hokensmith lying on the ground with several gunshot wounds.

Family members on the scene directed officers to a nearby field where they took Robert J. Criner Sr. into custody.

Criner told police he had gotten into a dispute with the victim over vehicles blocking their shared driveway. He said he had been physically attacked during the argument with Hokensmith, and went back into his home to get a pistol to intimidate the victim. Criner says he was then physically attacked again, which is when he shot Hokensmith, once as they faced each other then four more times in the back when the victim turned away.

If convicted, Criner faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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