Butane Torch Used as Weapon in West Virginia Domestic Assault

A 47-year-old West Virginia man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping after police say he “tortured” a woman with a butane torch while keeping her trapped in her own home.

According to the Philippi Police Department, officers received a 911 call on Tuesday from a woman who said she was “next door hiding under the porch.” The woman told authorities that the suspect, Sammy Joe Martz, had struck her in the face, causing her eye to swell shut. She also reported that Martz had burned her with a butane torch on multiple occasions and had threatened to kill her.

Sammy Martz allegedly trapped a woman at a West Virginia home and burned her at least three times with a butane torch. (Photo: WV Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority)

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the woman under the back porch of a neighboring home. She reported that she had fled the residence through a rear window to escape Martz’s abuse. The officers then entered the home and announced their presence, at which point Martz emerged from a back bedroom.

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Inside the residence, officers discovered a substantial amount of methamphetamine, as well as money and a clear crystal substance. They also found an unloaded rifle hanging on the living room wall, although Martz allegedly claimed that there was ammunition under the love seat. However, upon searching the area, officers found no ammunition.

Sammy Joe Martz was arrested and charged with kidnapping, with additional charges pending as the investigation continues. He is currently being held without bond at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail and Correctional Facility. The victim was transported to Broaddus Hospital for treatment, where she reportedly told an investigator that Martz had held her against her will for four to five hours.

This shocking incident in West Virginia serves as a reminder of the devastating effects of domestic assault and the importance of supporting victims and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.

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