Police arrest Roane County murder suspect

Michael John Smith, 37 of Roane County, has been arrested for the murder of James Hall, 36 of Spencer. (Roane County Sheriff's Office)

A man accused of murdering another man in Roane County has been arrested.

Police arrested Michael John Smith, 37, in Spencer Thursday evening. He has since been charged with first-degree murder in the death of James Hall, 36 of Spencer who was found dead inside his home on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon West Virginia State Police found Hall's body in the cellar of a home on Ripley Road in Spencer, according to a criminal complaint filed in Roane County Magistrate Court.

The complaint said Hall was lying on his shoulder and had an apparent laceration to the right side of his arm and face. Troopers also found loaded shells on the steps leading to the cellar and a spent shell casing under the steps.

A witness told troopers he saw Smith walk up to the resident and heard what sounded like someone beating on a door and then gunshots being fired, the complaint said.

The witness said after he heard gunshots, Smith threw something in the trunk of a vehicle and drove off. According to the complaint, Smith told the witness that he had killed Hall and if he told anyone he would kill him and his family.

The complaint said the witness also told trooper he had buried an ax under the porch at the order of Smith.

Smith is being held in the Central Regional Jail without bond.

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