Local pair face felony charges

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man and woman are facing felony charges in Martin County.

Kenneth Ray Terrell, 36, has been charged with domestic assault and making threats of violence, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Terrell also has been charged with domestic assault by strangulation, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Melissa H. Baker, has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in the second degree, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Jan. 23, Fairmont police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 300 block of East Ninth Street in Fairmont on a report of a woman running into the street, flagging down an individual and saying she had been assaulted by a male.

When officers arrived on scene, they observed a male, Terrell, standing outside the residence. Officers observed a small gash on Terrell’s face. He indicated he had been struck on the head with a hammer by his girlfriend, later identified as Baker. Terrell said Baker had fled the residence on foot.

Officers spoke with Terrell, who indicated an argument broke out between himself and Baker when she had grabbed his jacket. Terrell said he put his arm up and asked what she was doing, at which time Baker grabbed a hammer and struck him in the face. A hammer was later recovered in an upstairs bedroom.

A short time later, dispatch advised that a state Department of Corrections agent had called and said Baker would be at the Corrections office. A Fairmont police officer arrived and spoke with the agent, who said Baker had told him she had been assaulted by Terrell. She said she had been bitten, choked and struck.

While waiting for Baker to arrive, the agent received a call from Terrell, who said he did not want Baker charged or to go to jail.

When Baker arrived at the Corrections office, she was placed under arrest. She said she was the one who had been assaulted and lifted her shirt and exposed her left arm, which had a large, fresh bruise.

Baker was transported to the Martin County jail and read her rights. During the interview, she indicated she and Terrell had been arguing the day prior and that Terrell refused to let her leave during the argument. Baker said Terrell threatened her with a pair of scissors.

Baker also indicated that sometime around midnight, the day prior, Terrell had gone to bed and she was able to get dressed and leave.

She indicated that on the morning of Jan. 23 she went home around 6:30 a.m. to find that Terrell had barricaded her out of the house. Baker said she left the residence and went to the library. She said Terrell approached her vehicle, hit the window and said he wanted a cigarette. She said she left and was able to get into the residence. She attempted to board up a window to prevent Terrell from entering.

Baker said that when Terrell approached, she attempted to cover herself and that was when Terrell was struck with the hammer. She said Terrell held a knife to her throat, threw her to the ground and dragged her to the back bedroom where he began to hit her with a paint roll extender. Baker also said Terrell made threats to her life.

Officers later found Baker’s clothing in the location she indicated, as well as a small piece of wood partially placed on the window.

Baker said Terrell continued to threaten her and she was able to get outside in front of a vehicle and ask the individual to call 911. Officers took pictures of bruises on Baker’s arm, red marks on her neck, and bruising on her lower legs and knees. Officers could see Baker’s neck was red in the areas she indicated Terrell had placed his hands to choke her.

A check of Terrell’s criminal record shows a conviction for a misdemeanor assault in 2008, a conviction for domestic assault in 2018 and a conviction for gross misdemeanor stalking in 2018.

A check on Baker’s criminal record shows a number of arrests for domestic assault.