Suspect in Berkeley County Murder was Released from Jail on Probation

- BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. - According to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely, a Martinsburg man who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Martha Tyler, 72, was recently released from jail and was out on probation from Morgan County, W.Va., when the homicide occurred. 

William Patrick Jackson, 37, was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with one felony count of first degree murder. According to Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster, Jackson was initially arrested for fraudulent use of a credit card, after it was discovered he had used the victim's bank card. 

Jackson was previously sentenced to serve time on drug charges and a grand larceny charge. He was released from a facility in McDowell County, W.Va., but was later incarcerated at the Eastern Regional Jail for a probation violation. He was released in February 2014. Prosecutors in Morgan County say his probation violation was related to drug use. 

As we've reported on Saturday, March 8 Tyler was found dead with a bag over her head and her hands tied behind her back by her daughter. On Monday, investigators released the results of her autopsy, stating she died from ligature strangulation and smothering.

Jackson told investigators he was suffering from drug withdrawals and blacked out while he was with Tyler. He said he later woke up and found Tyler with a plastic bag over her head.

Police haven't found a clear motive for her death but investigators hope the arrest can give closure to the community and the Tyler family.

Jackson is currently being held at the Eastern Regional Detention Center. He was arraigned Tuesday night just before 10 p.m., and is being held on a $560,000 cash-only bond. 

He's due in court for a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. on March 19, 2014.

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