WEST LIBERTY - Officers with the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force arrested West Liberty University student-athlete Vernon Dunnom Friday for a murder he allegedly committed last month in Florida.
Dunnom, 24, of Miramar, Fla. is being held without bond in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville. He will remain incarcerated, pending an extradition hearing before an Ohio County Circuit Court judge next week.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Florida contacted local colleagues Thursday night to alert them that Dunnom was in the area, and possibly a student at West Liberty, U.S. Deputy Marshal Chad Simpson said.
Marshals, along with West Virginia State Police and officers from Moundsville and West Liberty police departments, attempted to contact Dunnom at his room in Beta Hall on the school's campus Friday morning. Dunnom was not in his room, but officers soon located him on another floor of the building and placed him under arrest.
Following his arrest, Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby arraigned Dunnom on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Dade County, Fla. Law enforcement officials there want Dunnom on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.
After inquiring about the charges for which he was arrested, Dunnom told officers he has not been in Florida in more than a year, Simpson said. Simpson also said he believes that because of the seriousness of the charges, Miami detectives are traveling to the jail in Moundsville to interview Dunnom before he is returned to Florida.
According to the West Liberty athletics website, Dunnom is a junior on the school's football team. The website lists Pittsburg, Calif., a San Francisco suburb, as his hometown.
West Liberty Director of Media Relations Maureen Zambito offered the following comment: "West Liberty University has and shall continue to respect the federally protected rights of its students. In addition, we shall continue to investigate credible allegations involving our students and take appropriate action."
According to court documents, police believe Dunnom and another suspect attempted to rob two men on Nov. 16 in Miami Gardens, Fla. During the robbery, Dunnom and his fellow suspect allegedly shot the victims multiple times.
One of the victims died, while the other was able to recover from life-threatening injuries. The surviving victim identified Dunnom in a photograph as the man who shot him that night, documents state.