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Cynthia Gatewood

Cynthia Gatewood was arraigned before Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit in March 2019. She was sentenced Monday to life in prison without mercy.

A Kanawha County woman was sentenced to life in prison without mercy Monday for killing a woman in 2018.

Cynthia Gatewood, 32, of Cross Lanes, was found guilty on Sept. 3 of fatally stabbing 57-year-old Cheryl Fisher in front of a tobacco store in Sissonville in September 2018.

She was sentenced virtually on Monday in front of Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit. She pleaded not guilty to murder in March 2019.

A jury recommended Gatewood have no chance for parole following the trial. In West Virginia, a first-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence without the chance for parole if a jury does not grant mercy.

Fisher, of Charleston, died on Sept. 25, 2018, after suffering stab wounds to her back.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Gatewood and Fisher got into a brief argument outside of Tobacco Stop, LLC in Sissonville, before Gatewood attacked Fisher, stabbing her twice in the back with a folding knife.

Gatewood told Kanawha sheriff’s deputies who arrested her she was angry at Fisher and waited for her outside of the Tobacco Stop. The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras at the business.

Fisher managed to make it to a local health center, but later died due to her injuries.

Gatewood’s September trial was the first criminal jury trial to be held in Kanawha County since the pandemic began six months prior. Court staff gave the ceremonial courtroom at the old Kanawha County Courthouse a $7,000 upgrade to begin holding socially-distanced trials.