CHARLESTON, W.Va.–A bill that would make it a crime for any person sitting on a grand jury to reveal the identity of an individual being indicted a crime has passed the House Wednesday.
House Bill 2498 was requested by Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum and was passed minutes before he was shot in front of the Mingo County Courthouse early Wednesday afternoon.
The bill was passed unanimously today and will now go to the Senate for consideration. Lead sponsor Delegate Justin Marcum (D-Mingo), says the bill is essential to protecting everyone involved in a grand jury trial.
“It’s crucial that we ensure the safety of witnesses, victims, and officers,” Marcum said.
Marcum said he introduced the bill after criminal defendants were informed by a grand juror that they were being investigated following a drug roundup in Mingo County earlier this year. The defendants then fled to neighboring states.
“This bill would not only help protect our residents, but also help put an end to the state’s drug abuse problem,” Marcum said.
Marcum is the lead sponsor on the bill while Delegates Tim Miley (D-Harrison), Kevin J. Craig (D-Cabell), Clif Moore (D-McDowell), David G. Perry (D-Fayette), Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha), Michael T. Ferro (D-Marshall), Ryan J. Ferns (D-Ohio), and Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln) are co-sponsors.