Trial Delayed for Co-Defendant In Bellaire Home Invasion, Death

The case against one of the four co-defendants in an apparent home invasion in Bellaire that resulted in a shooting death was continued Monday to allow for plea agreement negotiations.

Michael Scott Posey, 33, of Bellaire appeared before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra. The judge continued the case so that attorneys could have more time to negotiate a plea deal.

Posey signed a time waiver and asked for more time. Vavra allowed it, adding that in the meantime the court will set about scheduling a new trial date. Vavra said a new trial date will likely be announced this week, and the proceedings probably will be set for 2018.

“We’re going to work on making sure the courtroom’s available. We may have to use St. Mary’s Hall because of the jury selection,” Vavra said, referring to the social hall adjoining St. Mary Church, frequently a site of jury selection for high-profile trials. “We’re going to work on that with attorneys.”

Last week, Posey was ruled competent to stand trial as a co-defendant in the June 7 shooting death of Joshua Gorayeb. All of the co-defendants initially were charged with robbery, aggravated burglary, complicity to robbery and burglary leading to a death. According to Bellaire police, the co-defendants are charged with murder because Gorayeb would not have died if the alleged home invasion attempt had not occurred.

Police believe Posey drove the vehicle that transported the group to the home where the shootings occurred.

Gorayeb, 34, of Wheeling allegedly conspired with the four co-defendants to steal narcotics from a home at 4157 Noble St., Bellaire. According to law enforcement, he and co-defendant Thomas Earl Grubba, 34, of Wheeling attempted to enter the house. However, the occupants of the home were armed and reportedly shot Gorayeb and Grubba. Gorayeb died at the scene.

Last week, Grubba was declared incompetent to stand trial due to his apparent lack of understanding of the court system. He was remanded to Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare for counseling; his competency will be re-evaluated in February. At that point, a new trial date may be set.

James Dean McMasters, 46, of Bellaire, is set to go to trial in the case on Nov. 28. He is believed to have lived at 4157 Noble St. at one time.

The fourth co-defendant, Diane Jean Kuri, 28, of Wheeling, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of conspiracy to commit burglary. Her sentencing was set for Nov. 20 but may be delayed until a review of the other four counts against her on Dec. 4. The additional charges may be dropped, depending on her cooperation with the state against her co-defendants.

Lola Eden, owner of the home in question, has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for trafficking in drugs with a gun specification. Investigators discovered 59 grams of cocaine in the area of her home.

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