Charleston, WV – Some criminals make us wonder whether it would just be easier (and safer) to get a job. Today, that criminal is (was) Dalton Newhouse, who was electrocuted to death after he and an accomplice tried to steal copper wire by shooting down high-tension power lines with a rifle.
Newhouse, 22, was found dead on Wednesday, after what authorities believe was an ill-advised attempt to steal copper from power lines. Copper scrap, for the non-scavengers among you, is very valuable and can be sold at junk yards for a decent price.
Fayette deputies and rangers from the National Parks Service found Newhouse’s body tangled in downed lines in the Beury Mountain Wildlife Management Area near Thurmond. The cause of death was apparently electrocution.
Authorities arrested 22-year-old Charles Raymond Norris of Oak Hill, who was apparently Newhouse’s accomplice. Police believe that both young men used a rifle to shoot down the lines, and that Newhouse must have touched a live one at some point, which caused his death.
Initially, authorities did not confirm Newhouse’s identity, merely saying that he was a Fayette County resident. They gave no further information at the time so that they could notify his family members of his death.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy, but it seems pretty clear what the cause of death was.
Norris, meanwhile, was charged with attempt to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility.
The investigation is still ongoing, and authorities urge anyone with information can contact Fayette deputies at 304-574-4216 or Crime Stoppers at 304-255-7867.
[Image via: Artesia Wells / Shutterstock]