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Kanawha prosecutor drops weekend murder charge after medical examiner says more time needed

The Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Tuesday sought to dismiss a murder charge against a Charleston man accused of killing his wife over the weekend.

The decision came after the Medical Examiner’s Office reported that it needed more time to determine what caused Stephanie Cantley’s death.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office is not able to complete this necessary work prior to the date of defendant’s preliminary hearing, July 23, 2019. Therefore, the State must dismiss the current matter and will take appropriate steps based upon the Medical Examiner’s future findings,” the motion states, according to an email from the prosecutor’s office.

Frank Jay Cantley, 44, was charged with murder Sunday after calling 911 Saturday night to report that his wife, Stephanie Cantley, had overdosed, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court. When police and paramedics arrived at the couple’s Tinder Avenue home on Charleston’s West Side, they found Stephanie Cantley dead on the floor with bruises on her neck that appeared to be from strangulation, the complaint said.

Cantley told police during an interview, “I was mad,” and “I killed my wife,” according to the complaint.

The prosecutor’s office said they may not proceed with the case until it is determined to be a homicide, regardless of Frank Cantley’s statement to police. The prosecutor’s office said it will await the results of the investigation.

Funerals for Saturday, August 24, 2019

Barron, Dennis - 11 a.m., Airborne Church, Martinsburg.
Baylor, Elizabeth - 1 p.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.
Bonds Jr., Patrick - 1 p.m., King of Glory International Ministries, Charleston.
Burgess, Corey - 5 p.m., Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
Burns, Helen - 11 a.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation, Inc., Grantsville.
Caldwell, Gary - 6 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.
Casto, Carroll - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor.
Casto, Roger - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.
Duty, Fred - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.
Fisher, Bernard - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.
Gwinn, Lloyd - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Habjan, Nathan - 1 p.m., Wilson-Smith Funeral Home, Clay. 
Hall, Daniel - Noon, Witcher Baptist Church.
Hinkle, Ethel - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Hoffman, Bruce - 2 p.m., Foglesong - Casto Funeral Home, Mason.  
Kinder, Siegel - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.
Kyler, Virgil - 11 a.m., Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Reedy.
Palmer, William - 1 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston. 
Raynes Sr., Steven - 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.
Truman, James - 2 p.m., Newton Baptist Church, Newton.
Turner, Keith - Noon, Full Gospel Assembly,  Huntington. 
Webb, Antoinette - 11 a.m., SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Oak Hill.
Wilson, Greg - Noon, Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.
Withrow, James - 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.