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Details Emerge In Charleston Murder

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Reported: Jul. 6, 2014 7:33 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 6, 2014 10:46 PM EDT

Charleston Murder
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

New information has been released in the murder of a Charleston man whose body was found in the Kanawha River Saturday.

Three people have been arrested in connection to the murder of Martin Snodgrass.

Jonathan Thurmond and Anthony Harriman are facing first degree murder charges. And Erica Cogar faces charges as an accessory to the murder.

"These types of crimes where the violence is pretty random are rare," Lt. Steve Cooper with the Charleston Police Department said.

Charleston Police said they found Snodgrass' body near Magic Island in a shallow area of the Kanawha River underneath the Interstate 64 bridge.

Snodgrass' family filed a missing persons report with police Saturday morning. They told police Snodgrass never came home from collecting cans along the river bank.

Police said the suspects camped near that area.

According to court documents, there were obvious signs of brutal force used against Snodgrass.

Cogar told police Snodgrass tried to sell her drugs. He then started rubbing her shoulders and ripped her shirt.

Thurmond, Cogar's boyfriend, and Harriman came to Cogar's defense and attacked Snodgrass by punching and kicking him in the head.

Harriman told police Snodgrass' breathing was raspy before they threw him into the Kanawha River.

People in the area were shocked and said they've never imagined anything like this happening so close to home.

"No not in this town. Not a body on the river bank. Not in Charleston," Ed Anderson said.

On any given day several people, like Anderson, visit Magic Island. Dozens boaters pass through the area.

Magic Island is a place no one ever imagined being the scene of a murder.

"[The suspects are] going to be in prison for the rest of their lives," Cooper said. "They're no longer a threat."

Cogar is being held at the South Central Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash only bond.

Thurmond and Harriman are also at South Central, however, neither of them were given bonds.

Police said Martin Snodgrass, 51, suffered blunt force trauma.

Anthony Harriman and John Thurmond are both charged with first degree murder. Erica Cogar is charged with accessory to murder.

Harriman, Thurmond and Cogar were all arrested Saturday night for what police said is their involvement in the murder of Snodgrass.

Snograss' body was found in the Kananwha River under the Interstate 64 bridge early Saturday. Police said there were obvious signs of blunt force used against Snodgrass.

According to court documents Cogar told police Snodgrass was trying to sell her drugs , and when he got her alone and out of the sight of others, he started rubbing her shoulders and ripped her shirt.

Thurmond, who is Cogar's boyfriend, told police that's when he and his friend Harriman attacked Snodgrass, kicking and punching him.

Harriman told police Snodgrass' breathing was raspy just before throwing him into the river.

Police told Eyewitness News the three suspects lived at a camp under the bridge, a community that usually doesn't cause any harm or trouble.

Cogar was charged as an accessory to the murder and is being held at the South Central Regional Jail on a $100,000, cash-only bond.

Harriman and Thurmond have been charged with first degree murder and are being held at South Central Regional Jail with no bond.

Watch the full report on Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight for more on this story.

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