Story by Mike Nolting, MetroNews

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Monongalia County jury convicted a Detroit man Tuesday of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy.

Cleotis “Ghost” Eppes

The panel deliberated for about four hours before handing down guilty verdicts on all charges against Cleotis Eppes in the May 2022 death of Matthew Moore.

Eppes killed Moore over a drug debt. He denied the charges again and again during three hours of testimony Monday.

Prosecutors used testimony of co-defendant Arlo Romano, who cut a plea deal with them, and information from tracking of a phone to link Eppes to the crime.

Following the verdicts, the jury began hearing evidence in the mercy phase of the case. Jury members are scheduled to return to court Wednesday morning to hear additional testimony.

If the jury finds in favor of mercy, Eppes will have a chance for parole after 15 years in prison. Otherwise, he faces spending the rest of his life behind bars.