Story by Mike Nolting

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Morgantown man is charged with first-degree murder in a shooting death that took place last Friday.

The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday it had arrested Rick Cordes, 49, for killing Jennifer Hribar, 39, also of Morgantown, at a residence on Fallen Water Lane in the Cheat Lake area.

Detectives said Hribar died of an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The investigation determined that Cordes and Hribar went to two establishments in the Cheat Lake area before the shooting. Surveillance footage at each location shows the two were involved in a verbal disagreement that got the attention of the staff at both locations. Those in charge at the establishments told detectives they had staff members monitor Cordes because they feared the verbal altercation could become physical.

Detectives said they recovered a pistol they believed to have been used in the shooting at the residence where Hribar was discovered. Cordes told detectives he had contact with the grip of the pistol, and the trigger could have been pulled by both he and Hribar.

Detectives noted that during initial conversations with MECCA 911 dispatchers, first responders, and detectives, the description of events Cordes provided changed several times.

Cordes is being held in the North Central Regional Jail without bail.

Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and are asking anyone with additional information to contact the Monongalia Sheriff’s Department at 304-291-7260.