Suspect in Trooper's Shooting Hangs Himself, Police Say
(AP) - A Ritchie County man scheduled to go on trial next month on
charges he killed a state trooper hanged himself with a bed sheet in his
jail cell, state police said Monday. Dennis Ferguson, 68, of Pullman had
been in the Ritchie County Jail without bond since his arrest April 9 on
a first-degree murder charge in the shooting of Trooper Larry Hacker,
34, of Harrisville.
Officials said the cells usually are
checked every 30 minutes, and Blevins said Ferguson apparently had been
dead less than an hour. State Medical Examiner Dr. Irvin Sopher said
Monday he ruled the death a suicide due to hanging.
Hacker and Trooper S.J. Verdow had gone
to Ferguson's home April 8 after a neighbor complained Ferguson had
blocked the single-lane gravel road to his house with a pickup truck.
When the troopers and Ritchie County deputies arrived, the truck was
gone and there were no lights on at the home, police said.
Telephone messages to prosecutor David Hanlon and to Keith White, Ferguson's attorney, were not immediately returned Monday.
State Police Superintendent Thorn Kirk