A Clendenin man accused of beating a 77-year-old woman to death then going on a crime spree on Charleston’s West Side on Feb. 11 is scheduled to appear in court Monday.
Joshua Andrew Drennen, 27, was declared competent to stand trial on Aug. 17, but he will appear Monday before Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey for an update on a second mental evaluation.
Drennen’s criminal trial, scheduled to begin Monday, is pending on the results of the evaluation, according to the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Drennen is facing charges for murder, petit larceny, first-degree robbery, malicious wounding, assault during the commission of a felony, possession of stolen vehicle, attempted first-degree robbery and malicious assault of a law enforcement officer.
All the charges stem from an alleged crime spree beginning the morning of Feb. 11 when police received a call about a man beating on vehicles on Georgia Street on the city’s West Side.
That call was followed by a call reporting that a man, who police say was Drennen, had carjacked a woman in front of the Walgreens at West Washington Street and Edgewood Drive.
According to Drennen’s indictment, the woman he carjacked at Walgreens was Jacqueline Pitchford, 77, of Charleston. Pitchford suffered blunt force trauma to the head and was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being released.
Drennen then attempted to carjack Arthur Lee Martin Jr. in front of the Exxon/One Stop gas station at Lee Street West and Tennessee Avenue, but Martin pulled a gun on him, and Drennen took off.
Drennen was then confronted shortly after by Charleston Police Officer Terrence “Austin” Casto on Bigley Avenue in front of the Go-Mart station.
Police said as soon as Casto exited his vehicle, Drennen struck him multiple times in the head with an antique flat iron. After being knocked to the ground, Casto fired his gun at Drennen, striking him twice. Both men were taken to an area hospital, and Casto was released shortly after.
Drennen recovered and was arraigned nine days after the event.
After the chase, police found Barbara Steele, 77, dead in her home in the 600 block of Georgia Street. Police determined Steele died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Drennen faces life in prison if convicted of murdering Steele in the first degree.