James Means

William Ronald Pulliam, 65, in court as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means to death in Charleston’s East End.
Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail

For the past three years, the Us & Them team has tracked the case of James Means, the 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by 62-year-old William Pulliam on the East End of Charleston, W.Va.

The case got national attention partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. This week, the story came to a sad unexpected conclusion.

William Ronald Pulliam, 65, in court as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means to death in Charleston’s East End.
Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail

William Pulliam, the man who shot and killed 15-year-old James Means in Charleston, in November 2016, has died of an apparent suicide.

Kanawha County Prosecutors alerted James Means’ mother Thursday that William Pulliam had hung himself while in custody at Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky.  

Bob Aaron / WCHS-TV

The Us & Them team has tracked the case of James Means - a 15-year-old boy who William Pulliam shot and killed in Charleston, W.Va., in November 2016. The case got national attention partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. It was one of a number of shootings that focused on questions about racial injustice in our legal system. Last month, Pulliam agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder. A week later, he wrote to the judge and asked to revoke his plea. Last week the judge called Pulliam into court to get a clarification.

William Pulliam
KENNY KEMP / Gazette-Mail

Last week, William Pulliam -- a 65-year-old Charleston, West Virginia man -- agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder. He was originally charged with first degree murder for killing an African-American teenager named James Means. On Tuesday, the judge received a letter from Pulliam, asking for the plea deal to be revoked.

Nafea (Fay) Adkins (left), mother of the late James Means, and Dominique Cole outside of a courtroom in Charleston, WV
Trey Kay

For nearly three years, the Us & Them team has followed the James Means’ case - a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed  in Charleston, WV, by William Pulliam, who was 62 years old at the time. The case got national attention partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. It was one of a number of shootings that focused on questions about racial injustice in our legal system. Pulliam’s trial was scheduled to begin  late this summer, but instead there’s been a surprise outcome.

Still Waiting For Justice

May 8, 2019
Charleston Gazette

For the past two and a half years, a first-degree murder case has worked its way through the courts in Charleston. A 15-year-old boy, James Means, was shot and killed in the city's East End back in 2016.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against 23 coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. As Brittany Patterson reports, the DOJ is seeking over $4.7 million in unpaid fines and fees for mine health and safety violations.

Waiting for Justice

Apr 24, 2019
Wayne Casey

In Charleston, WV back in November 2016, William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, shot and killed James Means, a 15-year-old African-American boy. The case made national headlines. Reports say during his confession, Pulliam told police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off of the street.”

Wayne Casey

On November 21, 2016, William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, shot James Means, a 15-year-old African-American boy, after the two had an argument outside of a Dollar General Store in Charleston, WV. The shooting conjured memories of the death of Trayvon Martin after it was reported that in his confession, Pulliam told police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off of the street.” 

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A West Virginia man accused of fatally shooting a black teenager after the two bumped into each other and exchanged words has been indicted on a murder charge.

A Kanawha County grand jury handed down the indictment on Thursday against 62-year-old William Ronald Pulliam, who is white, in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old James Means.

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A black West Virginia teenager had a BB gun in his waistband but nothing in his hands when he was fatally shot by a white man, a police detective has testified.

According to police, 15-year-old James Means was shot in the chest and in the back Nov. 21 by 62-year-old William Pulliam after they bumped into each other outside a Charleston store and twice exchanged words.