Home Pittsburgh Press Releases 2012 Federal Prisoners Charged for Murder of Cellmate

Federal Prisoners Charged for Murder of Cellmate

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 03, 2012
  • Northern District of West Virginia (304) 234-0100

WHEELING—A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment on October 2, 2012, charging Patrick Andrews and Kevin Bellinger with second-degree murder and murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The indictment alleges that on October 7, 2007, Andrews and Bellinger murdered inmate Jesse Harris at the U.S. Penitentiary at Hazelton, West Virginia. At the time of the murder, Andrews was serving a life sentence for two separate homicides that took place in 1997 and 2000. Bellinger was serving a life sentence for an assault with intent to kill that took place in 2000.

The maximum statutory penalties are life in prison for Bellinger and life in prison or death for Andrews. The government has not yet filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Andrews.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Flower for the Northern District of West Virginia and Trial Attorney Richard E. Burns of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit.