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W.Va. man arraigned on murder, violent crime spree charges

February 20, 2020 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man accused of murdering a woman and attacking a police officer with an iron in Charleston last week was arraigned Thursday.

Joshua Andrew Drennen, 27, has been charged with murder, robbery, attempted murder and malicious wounding in what police have called a violent crime spree that ended with an officer shooting him.

As he was being walked into the booking office of the Charleston Police Department in a hospital gown Thursday, the Clendenin man denied the charges.

“I wasn’t there. I didn’t kill anybody,” he said, according to WCHS-TV. “I don’t recall anything. I woke up in the hospital with two gunshot wounds.”

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Authorities said Drennen killed an elderly woman in her home, carjacked a vehicle from a woman at a pharmacy, tried to steal another car and then hit an officer with an antique iron before the officer shot him.

The officer was not seriously hurt and was released from a hospital shortly after the melee. Drennen was hospitalized after the shooting.

The slain woman was identified as Barbara Steele, 77. Authorities said she died of blunt force trauma to the head. The woman who was carjacked also had blunt force trauma to the head and was hospitalized.

A court clerk said attorney information for Drennen wasn’t immediately available.