By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - A defendant accused of a horrific crime in January 2013 is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 25 in Mingo County Circuit Court on one count of first-degree murder and concealment of a deceased human body.
Donald Kevin Medley, 45, of Lenore, is charged with killing 55-year-old Evelyn Joyce Farnum, of Laurel Creek, then stuffing her body inside her 2003 Jeep Liberty and pushing it into Laurel Lake. It was recovered by the West Virginia State Police a few days after the crime was committed.
Andrea Ferris, the victim’s daughter, contacted state Trooper J.J. Dean and asked to file a missing persons report, expressing concern that she had not heard from her mother in several days. She was alarmed when she discovered that Farnum’s personal possessions and belongings were still in the home, including her cell phone, purse and cigarettes, but she was missing and unaccounted for.
State troopers used helicopters to fly over the remote areas in the Laurel Creek area to minimize the time it would take to search on foot or by vehicles hoping to catch sight of the victim’s vehicle, but those hopes were in vain. Then, as luck would have it, a witness came forward and told police he had been present when the Jeep was pushed into the lake.
Greg Medley, brother of the defendant, stands accused of assisting with disposing of the corpse after the murder occurred. The witness allegedly was threatened with bodily harm by the two brothers, who reportedly told him, “You know what happens to narcs.”
When the siblings were questioned, they admitted to the crime and told police the Jeep had been pushed into the lake, troopers said. According to Donald Medley, the events played out after he and the victim had become involved in a heated argument that quickly became physical in nature in a home they shared, police said.
“Medley said he got angry with her and started choking and hitting her,” Trooper Dean said. “He then choked her to death.”
Farnum’s body was placed inside her Jeep Liberty, and with the assistance of his brother, Donald Medley drove it approximately six miles until they reached the lake, where it was pushed into the water, the police report stated. Greg Medley admitted to assisting with hiding the body but said he did not participate in the murder, police said.
Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard will represent the state during the trial that will be heard by Circuit Judge John Cummings.