A 20-year-old man from West Virginia smiled for the camera while the arresting police officer took his photo for the mugshot and locked him up until his arraignment. He had just been arrested for beating a teen until she had a miscarriage after he abducted and held her hostage for an entire year during which time he impregnated her. Now the Morgantown, W.V. man will face a serious prison sentence for the atrocious crimes he is accused of if he gets convicted.
The man’s name is Brian Merchant-Jones, and he is now in custody. The charges against him are many and severe. He was charged with murder and kidnapping.
Ever since March 2018, the juvenile female victim had run away from home in March 2018. Police had been looking for her since then. But she recently told authorities that she had been with Merchant-Jones since then and had been retained in his custody. Throughout that time, he had beat her and assaulted her and limited her contact with the outside world. He also sexually abused her and impregnated her with his child.
After she became pregnant, Merchant-Jones beat her so harshly that she lost the baby. The miscarriage happened while the abuser and abductor were not in the room, so she was able to bury the fetus of the unborn baby. This fact she told authorities once she escaped. They were able to go to the burial site and unearth the unborn fetus.
Very shortly before she escaped, the victim was also beaten by the abuser. F
Court papers indicate that Brian Merchant Jones was arrested on felony offenses at his resident at 114 14th Street.
The victim told authorities that Jones impregnated her shortly after she came into his custody after she became a runaway.
Then at the end of October or the beginning of November, Jones kicked her in the stomach so hard that it affected her pregnancy. A few hours later, she suffered a miscarriage. The fetus was delivered while she was at the residence.
While Jones kept her prison, she could have a telephone conversation but it would need to be on speaker phone, and Jones would be in the room listening to it. She also moved to several different locations throughout her stay with him. For 28 days he was incarcerated, and Jones sent his associates to check on her “to make sure she did not leave.”
“She believed severe physical harm would befall her if she attempted to leave,” the court papers state.
On one occasion, Jones “beat the **** out of (her).” He then took her into the bathroom at the Mannington residence and “proceeded to choke her, drag her about the house by her hair, and punch her in the stomach.”
This attack caused so much pain her face and stomach were injured.
Jones has a history of violence. On September 8, 2018, he was arrested after he struck a 19-year-old man with a weapon on the side of the head. He is accused of continuing the attack on the individual, trying to stomp on his head while he was unconscious on the ground.