By Jessica Farrish
A Beckley man accused of shooting another man at a Charleston hotel in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day turned himself in to police last Thursday, and a Fayette County attorney also turned himself in to Fayette authorities on charges that stemmed from the same incident.
Michael Underwood, 30, of Beckley, was charged with malicious wounding after he allegedly shot Charlie Scott during a dispute.
Jamison Conrad, a Fayetteville attorney and one of two mental hygiene commissioners in Fayette, is charged with accessory after the fact to malicious wounding for allegedly removing evidence from the crime scene and directing Underwood to flee.
According to Charleston Police Detective Chief Lt. Steve Cooper, the incident began in a lobby area shared by Recovery restaurant and the Ramada Inn in the 600 block of Virginia Street East, when a woman in Underwood’s group and a woman in Scott’s group began fighting.
“There was a misunderstanding over a pizza delivery at another party that the lobby had received,” said Cooper. “A fight broke out as a result.
“During the fight, Mr. Underwood pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot the victim in the back. It went through his upper back and came out the front part of his shoulder and went into his leg.”
In a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, arresting officer J.D. Koerber said that hotel surveillance video shows Underwood and Conrad, along with two others, walking out of the lobby together after the shooting.
Surveillance video also showed Conrad picking up what the complaint says is Underwood’s dropped cell phone and apparently directing Underwood to flee the scene.
On a portion of surveillance video released by police, Scott is seen pushing Conrad several feet as Conrad is in an apparent verbal altercation with an unidentified woman. As Scott continues advancing toward Conrad, who is at the lobby exit, Scott begins to fight with Underwood.
Scott is seen with his hands in the proximity of Underwood’s throat on the video, and a man