Accused State Police Killer Dead
Ferguson Hangs Self in Jail
A Ritchie County man accused of the first-degree murder of a police officer took his own life while housed as a prisoner in the Ritchie County Jail.
Dennis Ray Ferguson, 68, of White Oak Community, Pullman, apparently hung himself with a section of his bed sheet early Sunday morning, Sept. 12th.
Ferguson, who was awaiting trial for the first-degree
murder of WV State Police Trooper Larry G. Hacker, is thought to have
planned his own execution some time last week. According to Sgt. G. B.
Hissom, Ferguson had reportedly mailed his sister a copy of his last
will and testament which she received on Saturday, Sept. 11th.
The Jailer, who is a retired New Jersey State Policeman, immediately notified Sgt. Hissom who arrived at the jail at about 7:30 a.m.
Estimating death to have occurred about 7:00, the officials made no attempt to resuscitate the inmate, and shortly thereafter notified the County Coroner.
Officials at the Jail reported that Ferguson gave no
prior indication to them of his plans for suicide. "He always kept
to himself and didn't socialize," said Sgt. Hissom.
Although apparently not the first altercation between Ferguson and the Langford family, this dispute ended in gunfire when several law enforcement officials arrived at the scene.
As one of the first officers on the scene, Trooper Hacker began the investigation and received a fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen while searching the Ferguson premises.
eputy Hissom, who was later cited for heroism, dragged
Hacker to safety while he waited medical attention to arrive for the
Ferguson was apprehended by officials a short time later after they surrounded his position on a wooded hilltop near his residence.
After entering a plea of not guilty at the preliminary
hearing, Ferguson was granted a change of venue, and his case was
scheduled to be heard by the presiding judge in Wetzel County this fall.