Jury recommends life in prison in Kanawha County murder trial

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Senior Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Maryclaire Akers confirms the jury in the murder trial of Cynthia Gatewood this afternoon has recommended she be sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

During Tuesday’s opening statements Cynthia Gatewood’s defense team was seeking a conviction on a lesser charge.

Surveillance video outside of the Sissoville tobacco shop where the murder happened back in September of 2018 was the strongest evidence jurors saw Tuesday.

The video shows Gatewood fatally stab Cheryl Fisher after waiting for her to come out of the tobacco shop following what could’ve been an argument, although the video just shows Fisher come back to shut her car alarm off.

“Don’t let the name of the case fool you, this case isn’t simply about Cynthia Gatewood, this case is about Cheryl Fisher; she was a mother, she was a grandmother, she was a caregiver in our community,” said Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Maryclaire Akers.

While prosecutors argued the facts are clearly there to convict Gatewood of first-degree murder, Gatewood’s defense attorney Richard Holicker says the case is a “puzzle.”

“The mere fact that Ms. Gatewood inflicted fatal injuries on Mrs. Fisher, however, does not in and of itself make her guilty of the offense the state has charged,” he said.

“Some of you logical people may not understand what it was that set Ms. Gatwood off,” he said during opening statements.

The first witness to take the stand was Cheryl Fisher’s daughter Megan Burger, who never got to see her mother that week.

“She was going to come over to my house, we liked to spend time together,” she said before taking a moment to collect herself.

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