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Area man arrested for murders

by James Fisher

STAFF WRITER

HARRISVILLE -- A Ritchie County man accused of murdering his wife and a neighbor was arrested about 7 a.m. Wednesday in a Lawrence County, Ohio, convenience store.

Hubert Lusk Jr., 44, of Jessie Cain Run Road near Harrisville, is being held in Ohio pending extradition, said Ritchie County Sheriff Ron Barniak. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, he said.

Barniak said Ohio police were tipped by a citizen who had seen local news reports about Lusk. Police have been searching for the man since Sunday when the bodies of Francis Dale McDonald, 67, and Rhonda Lee Lusk, 39, were found in McDonald's home.

Police are not releasing anything about a possible motive.

Ohio police earlier recovered a truck that Lusk was believed to have used to flee the area.

A weapon was recovered. Police are not commenting whether it is the murder weapon. The weapon has been sent to the West Virginia State Police crime lab for testing.

"We're just pleased that no one else was hurt, that he was arrested without incident and that no citizens were hurt," Barniak said Wednesday.

Police have been investigating the deaths since Sunday when a neighbor found the bodies, Barniak said. Both McDonald and Rhonda Lee Lusk had been shot. Barniak declined to comment further.

Police obtained two warrants Sunday charging Hubert Lusk with murder, Barniak said. The investigation is continuing, he said.

Staff writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com

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