|Birth: ||Jan. 29, 1939|
|Death: ||Feb. 5, 1976|
On February 5, 1976, Billy Ray Abshire was killed when a bomb contained in a cardboard box and found on the left front fender of his car detonated as he left his home for work. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (the "ATF") investigated the incident and concluded that the bomb was of Abshire's making. All other suspects had been eliminated by the ATF, either by polygraph or by other means, and Abshire had access to the explosive used in the bomb. Furthermore, Kin-E-Pak explosive, an electric blasting cap, and an anti-disturbance device like those used in the bomb, were found inside Abshire's trailer. The ATF concluded that Abshire had likely made the bomb and accidentally detonated it himself. Accordingly, his death was ruled accidental, and the investigation went no further.
At the time of Abshire's death, Appellant Carroll Eugene Humphries was engaged in a relationship with Abshire's estranged wife, Kitty. Humphries claims that during that period of time, he was attempting to help Kitty obtain a divorce from her husband, who had been holding out in an attempt to preserve the family. To that end, he consulted with an acquaintance, Gene Gaylor, who Humphries alleges he paid $2000 to research how Kitty could obtain a "quickie" Las Vegas divorce. In the meantime, Abshire consulted with an attorney by the name of John Detch regarding a divorce from Kitty. Abshire's divorce complaint was filed by John Detch the day before Abshire died.
In 1998, some 22½ years after Abshire's death, Humphries became the focus of a criminal investigation into the death. Gene Gaylor and his brother, Clayton, implicated Humphries in a murder plot, whereby Humphries allegedly paid Gene to make a bomb to kill Abshire. These accusations came to light after Humphries successfully prosecuted the Gaylors in federal court for an extortion plot which, curiously or not, involved Abshire's death. Together with Kitty Abshire, Gene Gaylor, and Robert Brown, Humphries was indicted in Greenbrier County in connection with the murder of Billy Ray Abshire.
The case was moved to Putnam County on Humphries' motion, where, on July 30, 1999, Humphries was convicted as an accessory before the fact to murder in the first degree and conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to life (with mercy) on the accessory charge and one to five years on the conspiracy charge. The sentences were set to run consecutively. Humphries' direct appeal of his conviction was refused by this Court on October 3, 2000.
(Source: Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, April 19, 2007)
Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens
West Virginia, USA
Created by: Kenny Davis
Record added: Jun 13, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131325192
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