Grand jury indicts Weirton teen accused of murder

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A West Virginia grand jury last week returned a murder indictment against the teenager accused of killing a former Canton Township man in Weirton two months ago.


Adam Barnhart, 18, was indicted by the Brooke County grand jury Nov. 4 and appeared for a formal arraignment on the first-degree murder charge Tuesday morning in Wellsburg.


Barnhart pleaded not guilty during the 9 a.m. arraignment at the Brooke County Courthouse before Fifth Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson and is scheduled to appear again in court Dec. 16 for a pretrial hearing, at which his trial date will be set. His defense attorney, Donald Tenant Jr. of Wheeling, could not be reached for comment.


Barnhart is accused of fatally shooting 36-year-old Frank Tulock in the back multiple times after Tulock apparently tried to intervene during a domestic dispute in his Weirton neighborhood in the early hours of Sept. 8.


Court records reveal that Barnhart got into a domestic dispute with another person inside his home and Tulock went to the residence in his neighborhood to investigate the problem. He heard Barnhart “yelling racial slurs” during the dispute, investigators said, and Tulock responded by stating he has biracial children and didn’t like the comments.


That’s when Weirton police said Barnhart went into his Hudson Avenue home and grabbed a .45-caliber handgun before shooting at Tulock eight times as Tulock walked back to his residence nearby. Tulock was hit several times but was able to make it back to his Orchard Street home, where he collapsed and died at the rear of the residence. The shooting occurred on his son’s 4th birthday.


Weirton police arrested Barnhart after officers found him hiding in bushes and weeds.


He waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the murder charge and an additional count of domestic battery before Brooke County Magistrate Robin Snyder Sept. 16. Barnhart remains at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville, W.Va., where he is being held without bond until trial.


Tulock was a 1995 graduate of Trinity Area High School and worked as a mechanic, relatives previously said. He lived on Buena Vista Street in Canton Township before moving to Weirton recently.


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