West Virginia teen charged in beating death of elderly pastor

BECKLEY, West Virginia (Reuters) By Kara Van Pelt – West Virginia police said on Monday they have charged teenager with murder in connection with the beating death of an elderly pastor at his home on the weekend.

Ronald Browning, 68, of Beckley, about 55 miles (89 km) south of the capital Charleston, died from blunt force trauma to his head and neck, police said. He was a pastor at Cool Ridge Community Church.

Camille Brown, a 19-year-old student at West Virginia University, is being held and charged with murder and breaking and entering after she confessed to killing Browning, police said.

She remained in the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, W. Va., on Monday without bond, police said.

“The most disturbing factor in this case is the fact Brown and Browning did not know one another and her motive has yet to be determined,” Beckley police Detective Morgan Bragg told Reuters.

Brown was found Sunday, a day after the killing, at a nearby residence, according to a criminal complaint. She was covered in blood, urine and feces, it said.

There was evidence that Brown had been in Browning’s home, and she had cuts on her hands that she said happened during the killing, Bragg said.

(Editing by Karen Brooks and Alan Crosby)