MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two men have been found guilty in the shooting death of a 22-year-old woman in 2014 in Berkeley County.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Catie Wilkes Delligatti announces that Richard Dane Small 37 and Joseph Wayne Mason, a/k/a Craccloc, 37, both of Hagerstown, Maryland have been found guilty of First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder in connection with the June 2014 shooting death of 22 year old Taylor Hawkridge of Martinsburg.

The five-day trial was held before Judge Michael D. Lorensen. On Friday afternoon, the jury returned a verdict of guilty for both defendants on all counts of the Indictment.

In West Virginia, First Degree Murder is automatically punishable by life in prison, unless the jury, in its discretion, recommends that mercy attach to the sentence (meaning the defendant would then be eligible to apply for parole in 15 years).

The jury returned verdicts of no mercy for each defendant, so both Joseph Mason and Richard Small will be sentenced to spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police with assistance provided by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force (EPD&VCTF), the Department of Homeland Security, and the Cellular Analysis Survey Team of the FBI.

Ms. Delligatti expressed her thanks to Sergeant J.J. Bowman of the EPD&VCTF for his “dedicated, tireless efforts in this investigation, which spanned nearly eight years.”

Delligatti said the victim was shot when returning home from work in the early hours of June 28, 2014.

“Sgt. Bowman’s investigation led him first to another codefendant, Nasstashia “Nass” Powell (Van Camp), who drove the shooter to kill Ms. Hawkridge and was tried in 2017 and found guilty of Second-Degree Murder.”

Delligatti said Bowman continued his investigation to identify the shooter and individual who arranged the murder.

She said evidence led to Small and Mason.

The prosecutor said the First Degree Murder verdicts, “finally bring closure” in the murder of Taylor Hawkridge, who left behind a small child.   At the time of her death, Hawkridge’s daughter was a toddler.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Kinser and Prosecuting Attorney Catie Wilkes Delligatti, with extensive assistance from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Hassan Rasheed.