A man and a woman charged with murdering two people pleaded not guilty to that and other charges in Kanawha County Circuit Court Wednesday morning.
Bobby Gene Hall and Misty Ann Rucker showed minimal emotion and only spoke to answer questions from Judge Jennifer Bailey in a courtroom full of people, including relatives of the victims.
Timothy Jett, 55, and Audrey Short, 38, were shot in Jett’s home along Garrison Avenue in Charleston on Feb. 7. Jett died at his home, and Short died a few days later at Charleston Area Medical Center.
As the hearing proceeded Wednesday, about eight relatives of Jett and Short were noticeably emotional sitting in the back row of Bailey’s courtroom.
Tamera Jett, Timothy Jett’s sister, said she was upset with seeing Hall and Rucker Wednesday.
“I don’t think I can go on record with how it feels to see them walk into the courtroom and have no emotions, and we’re all tore apart,” she said after the hearing. “He didn’t deserve to die the way he did. If you’re mad at him, you get over it. You don’t kill somebody because you’re mad. You didn’t just change their lives. You took lives from me and [Short’s mother], from my kids, from my son, you know? A dad just lost his only son. I lost my only brother. [Short’s children] lost their mom. You didn’t just ruin two people’s lives. You ruined two families’ lives.”
Hall, 42, and Rucker, 38, each were wearing orange prison uniforms and wore handcuffs in court as they pleaded not guilty. Hall and Rucker have been incarcerated at the South Central Regional Jail since they were arrested in Clay County in February.
Hall and Rucker each were indicted earlier this month for first-degree murder, fleeing with reckless indifference to the safety of others and possession of a stolen vehicle.
On Feb. 7, the pair reportedly visited Jett and Short at Jett’s Garrison Avenue home. They left that evening, but are alleged to have returned a short time later when Hall reportedly shot Jett and Short while they were lying in bed while Rucker was a lookout at the front door of the home.
Hall and Rucker reportedly fled the home and drove to Kentucky, where they allegedly stole a vehicle. Prior to their arrest, Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper told the Gazette-Mail the pair had been spotted driving the stolen vehicle in Elkview.
At the time, Cooper described the suspects and the victims as “known to law enforcement.”
On Feb. 8, they were spotted driving the vehicle by a Roane County sheriff’s deputy. They eventually were arrested by West Virginia State Police troopers following a short vehicle pursuit that ended in Queen Shoals, near the Clay-Kanawha county line.
Following the arrest, Cooper said Hall stated he wanted to “take 10 or 12 officers” with him and “make history.”
Hall, Rucker and a Roane County sheriff’s deputy all suffered minor injuries in the pursuit.
Reach Lacie Pierson at email@example.com, 304-378-1723 or follow @LaciePierson on Twitter.