November 18, 2015: Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Sissonville, WV

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Metro 911 received a call from Roger Skeens of Grapevine Road in Sissonville, WV.  Mr. Skeens said when he arrived home he found a man in his house.  The man was wearing a ski mask and had a shotgun.  The two fought and Mr. Skeens had taken away the shotgun and detained the apparent burglar. 


When Kanawha County Deputy Sheriffs arrived on scene they met with Mr. Skeens, his wife Brandy Skeens, and the detained man, Joseph Lawrence (40 years old of Charleston, WV).  Mr. Lawrence told Deputies he was there to protect Mrs. Skeens. 


The residence appeared like the scene of a burglary.  Items were scattered and drawers were opened.  However, there were no signs of forced entry to the home. 


Detectives with the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation responded to assist with the matter.  During subsequent interviews they learned from Mrs. Skeens she had been the victim of domestic violence in her marriage to Mr. Skeens.  She had recently resumed a relationship with Mr. Lawrence, with whom she’d been intimate many years past.  Mrs. Skeens and Mr. Lawrence had conspired to kill Mr. Skeens.  They would use the staged burglary to cover their plan. 


On Tuesday night the planned communication between Mrs. Skeens and Mr. Lawrence broke-down, leaving Mr. Lawrence unprepared for Mr. Skeens’ arrival.


Mr. Lawrence was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a felony.  Other charges may materialize as the investigation continues and is reviewed by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Kanawha County.


Attached is a mug shot from the overnight arrest of Mr. Lawrence.  As is always the case in criminal matters, the charge against Mr. Lawrence is merely an accusation.  He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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