What do other people say about Erick?
I have known Erick since 1999, He has not once shown one ounce of violence, in that time I have known him. Erick has spent hours with my family and younger brothers making us all laugh. He has always been humorous, and caring helping many people. as long as I have known Erick he has been kind to people, and animals. He always stuck up for others and injustice as well, he has a huge heart that he hides with sarcasm. I would like to see this man continue living his life how he was and being the kind helpful caring funny person he is. —Josh Fredo
This is to testify to the character of Erick Shute, a business associate since 2013. I am a Maryland author and festival producer working with Erick for the last few years. I met him while he was the lead singer for a metal band in the NY/ NJ area. During that time it was clear that he was receiving a regular diet of verbal abuse from other members in the band, specifically the leader. Not only was he not being paid for his time with this band, they were expecting him to invest in the band. I hope I was influential in Erick leaving this group. Harassment and no money are two good reasons to leave.
During this time Erick was helping me promote my books online and working with me to develop a music festival in Texas. We were not successful, so we switched tracks to another festival which we had some degree of success finding investors. However, I decided to go with a different group capable of funding the entire project. Erick and I worked together over phone,and email for many months. Not once during that time did he ever raise his voice or show anger.
Over the last 40 years in business, I have learned that when you work with someone for an extended time, you understand the basic character of a person. We were also friends and discussed many personal aspects of life and relationships.
During this time it was obvious that Erick was not rich and with having to depend on others for transportation, and going back and forth form West Virginia to New Jersey, these were tough times for him. I bought him a computer because his was no longer functional. I paid him for promoting my books online. Erick would recommend homeopathic health remedies and explain the benefits of eating organic, healthy foods, which he practiced himself. While living in WV, I know he was a good son helping his mother on their property. I do not have any reason to believe he took drugs or drank alcoholic beverages. He was sane, normal without hate. He never spoke of threatening anyone or making any claims of violence. He was peaceful the entire time I knew him. When his mother contacted me about the horrible incident on their property, learning some about the low-lifes he confronted.
There is no question in my mind that Erick was defending himself and his families’ property. This man would never just shoot someone or contemplate in advance hurting someone. Laws protect the innocent and this nation protects those defending themselves against violent robbers. It is a good thing Erick had a gun with him or he could be dead today. The fact that a 4th man ran off with the other culprit’s weapons indicts them.
Erick is one of the finest people I have ever known without any malice of intention to hurt others. He is a lover not a hater. He has already endured a hell by dealing with these horrible known thieves and being imprisoned for doing what any decent law-abiding person would have done, defended themselves and their property. West Virginia law protects him and I am 100% sure Erick will be fully vindicated once the truth is made known in a court of law. He will still have this catastrophic experience on his conscience the rest of his life, a penalty he does not deserve but will have to deal with. I am hoping his incarceration ends just as soon as he has his day in court. Erick is a rare, good man. Hal Davidson, MD
I have known Erick for about 17 years and I have never known him to be violent not even once he is a very kind hearted person we have hung out numerous times we have gone fishing to karaoke and sometimes I would just come over hang out stay the night and never once did I see anything that made me scared or never did I feel threatened or worried he has always been a good friend…. Herb, Quinton, NJ
Erick did the community a favor by dealing with these drug dealing thieves. They have stolen from me several thousands of dollars’ worth of tools, gasoline, building materials etc. in just the past four years then they sell it to get their drug money. I have known Erick for many years and he is not a violet person. These thieves were packing heat and had to threaten his life for him to react the way he did, I have no doubts about it…. Jeff Blithe
I have been a Facebook friend of Erick’s since 2012. Though we haven’t ever met in person, I do believe you can get a good feel for someone online. He never came across to me as violent or unstable. I have a hard time believing there isn’t more to this story and I believe over time the rest of it will come out. Our justice system was built on the premise of innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, sensationalism sells and the media has become more like reality TV. Self-defense doesn’t make good headlines or get ratings… crazy gunman does. I wasn’t there. I haven’t talked to Erick. I do not know what really happened. All I am saying is what if it was you? What if something happened and you were forced into a kill or be killed situation? Would you hope people would pause, wait and step back before judging and crucifying you? I sure would. -Sarah Barendse, FL
I have known Erick since 1998. I was immediately attracted to his smile and how polite, well mannered, and easy going he was. Despite being a few years younger than me, Erick was intelligent and sensitive and he quickly became one of my close friends. He had been bullied in school and because of this he was fiercely loyal to his family and small group of friends. He was always supportive and caring of all of us, no matter what direction our lives were taking. He always kept in touch and even greeted my parents warmly if he happened to see them. In all the years I have known him, he has never shown any aggressive behavior or potential for violence and I don’t believe that he would be capable of violence unless he or someone he loved was threatened. Julie Moore, NJ
My name is Gregory and I am going to tell you about Erick Shute. He is a good man and is easy to get along with and I feel that those people were going to hurt him bad. He does carry himself like a bad guy. He is easy going with everyone. I know had to provoke him to make him do what he did. Gregory Riggs, Inwood, WV.
Hey there, my name is Steven, I am writing to tell everyone that Erick Shute is a good man and I feel that he is guilty of Self Defense not murder. He was protecting himself, his family, and should be found Not Guilty of Murder charges. Steven Rogers
I had the opportunity to meet this outstanding man through working with him at the same company.
He was the most outgoing and friendly person I had the privilege of working with. The company we worked for was in part helping home owners and business owners with various types of property damage.
He was very caring and empathetic with dealing with all types of clients and also in dealing with contractors and insurance company adjusters. I would say he had the patience of a saint. Most damage that property owners had was not an easy task to deal with. But, Erick always went above and beyond the call of duty to help those that he met.
Erick has an amazing work ethic and garnished many awards form the company executives. He was much younger then me, but he was a man I looked up to and learned so much about patience and empathy. Eric was called upon several times to teach a class at our monthly training classes and was featured as a speaker at an annual company convention for over 300 people. I saw this as an accomplishment to aspire to.
Erick did so well one year that he won a free trip to Mexico from the company. My husband and I also won the trip that year and we were able to go with Erick as well as a group of other coworkers. I have to say that Erick and the group had a great time with lots of laughing and adventures.
I never once saw Eric confrontational with any one and we did have what I like to call discussions about all types of topics. He was never confrontational and always respected my opinion and of those who encountered him. I absolutely can say I never saw a side of Erick that could be considered violent in any way.
In closing, I would hope that you can see that this is a description of the Erick that I personally know and respect. Ethel Dugan – AZ
I have known Erick Shute for the past 4 or 5 years. We met when we were both highly motivated to help our local community. I ran a local non-profit organization and Erick had contacted me about starting a time-sharing idea called a Time Bank. We became friends due to mutual interests and I respected Erick for his hard work ethic and drive to genuinely care about people. Including people that he didn’t necessarily get along with. When we got the news that Erick was arrested for murder, the first thought that came to mind was “this had to be self-defense”. Erick did not come off as the type of person to go looking for a fight, or to act first in a situation where he did not genuinely feel threatened. Ken Craft – WV
Erick and I met in high school when I was a Senior and he was an underclassman twenty years ago. We had a class together where we had to make up a skit for something that I do not remember. Erick, myself, and two other classmates met at my house and we made up this skit to present to our class. That is where our friendship began. We had not known each other prior to that. Erick was very approachable and likeable. Erick became really close friends with my husband’s best friend(at that time my husband was my boyfriend). We would hang out and joke around and enjoy each other’s company.
We would have Thanksgiving dinner at the best friend’s parent house. We enjoyed gathering around the dinner table and then watching football. Erick would always try and help with cleaning up the dishes or helping elsewhere. Once I got married and had children, Erick became involved in their lives. We used to have cookouts all the time and Erick would always be there to play with the children(mine and my best friend’s children). He loved to play wrestle with them and give them piggy back rides. He was always so caring and kind hearted. He always tried to include them.
There was this one time when my daughter and my best friend’s son were having a catch and somehow the ball landed on my roof. My daughter was upset and Erick actually climbed my roof and got the ball down so she would not be upset anymore. Erick has always been caring and wants to make sure everyone is happy.
Another thing that I can remember about Erick is we used to have game nights at my home a lot. We would normally play Cranium or Monopoly. It was always a girls vs. boys type thing. We always had a fun time and we never got too competitive. It would normally be myself, my best friend, and Erick left in Monopoly and we would always try to make it harder for Erick to win. He would play along with it and we would have a good time. I can say that in the time that I have known him, Erick Shute has been a trustworthy, caring, and hard working person. We may not agree on everything but we agree to disagree. Everything is peaceful and we remain friends.
The Erick that I know is not a violent person. I do not believe for one minute that this was premeditated. I believe he feared for his life. I hope this letter will give you an idea of his good character and how he really is a kind soul. Jennifer S.- NJ
This letter is written as a testament to the character of Erick Shute, who has been convicted of first degree murder in three counts recently in your Court. I highly doubt he murdered anyone and I believe he acted in self defense during the altercation.
The Erick he is accused of being and the Erick I know well are two entirely different people. I first met Erick in 2012. My house caught fire and burned to the ground and Erick was one of many people who showed up at the scene of the fire. Of course, there were many first responders (I think about 4 or 5 different fire companies and probably 20 or more firemen), but many other people showed up to gawk at my house burning to the ground. Most of my animals were killed in the fire and I lost EVERYTHING, though I managed to save my three dogs and two guinea pigs, (actually, the firemen saved my guineas).
Erick and one other man were the only two to stay around after the fire was out. After the fire was done, Erick entreated the other man to drive me and my dogs and guineas to a local motel, about a mile away. (Erick did not have a vehicle, but he rode along w/ us all and helped me check in to the motel, while I was in complete shock). Again, I didn’t know Erick before this fire. Erick checked in w/ me the next day, and the next and the next, walking 2 miles round trip each time to check in w/ me and my animals.
Around the 4th or 5th day, I could no longer afford the motel. The motel was charging me exorbitant fees because of the animals I had w/ me. They were charging me per animal for the five animals I had w/ me. Erick was present w/ me on the 4th or 5th day when I called a girlfriend and asked if we could all stay w/ her because I had no place to go and I could not afford the motel. She said “no, it’s too much chaos”. Erick immediately said “you can stay w/ me and my mother for a couple days till you find other accommodation.”
This was the start of a friendship. Though I showed up w/ Erick at his mother’s house w/o notice (who also didn’t know me, my three dogs or my two guineas) and he said I would stay for a few days until I sorted things, I stayed for seven months. Literally, seven months. THAT’S WHO ERICK IS and that’s who Linda is. Erick’s dog Dakota (who he clearly adored and doted on) allowed my dogs Ivan, Natasha and Rodney to move in, along w/ my two guineas, Nicky and Lester. When Nicky the guinea died, Erick buried him in their backyard for me.
During the seven months I lived w/ Erick and Linda (his mother), I NEVER, EVER, EVER saw Erick raise his voice. Period. I’ve been known to raise my voice during a disagreement w/ someone (actually I’ve raised my voice many times), but I’ve never known Erick to raise his voice. I’ve never, ever, ever heard him threaten violence or known him to commit violence. This simply never happened. This is a man who took a complete stranger from the street and helped her and her animals.
I cannot reconcile the person the jury saw w/ the person I know. It simply is not true. After I finally moved from Erick and Linda’s home in May 2013, Erick and I kept in touch via email (and the occasional phone call) intermittently, probably 5-6-7 times per year, but always in contact.
I have no idea what happened the day of the incident. But the idea of him hiding and ambushing someone and killing three people is inconceivable to me, knowing him as well as I do. You may think someone who knew someone for only 4 years and offering an opinion is ludicrous, but it is not. If you (me) lived w/ someone 24/7 for seven months, you would know that person better than you know your own brother. I DO know him better than my own brother. I simply cannot believe it. It is SO, SO out of character for the peaceful man I know.
Based on what I’ve been able to read online and speak to his mother and Erick about what happened that day, I don’t believe any of it, because it is so out of character for the person I know. This simply is not true about Erick and I would never believe it if you paid me $1m dollars. He never hurt or threatened or mistreated anyone. He is such a kind person.
He was scared, scared, scared when he was attacked. He reacted quickly, but in self defense. That’s it. Of course he had a gun. Most people have guns in that part. There are a lot of issues that should have been allowed at trial, based on what I read and what his mother and he told me. These issues should be revisited. The victims repeatedly threatened Erick, his mother and their neighbors. This conviction needs to be overturned.
I have heard that all the victims had very bad repute and had been accused of rape, kidnapping and other very bad offenses, including theft from Erick and his mother AND I HEARD ALL OF THIS at least 2 or 3 years before the incident in 2016. This is not a made up thing. Erick and Linda discussed it w/ me frequently, well before the incident. Yet, none of this was allowed at trial. NONE OF THEIR PRIOR HISTORY WAS ALLOWED AT TRIAL. I am also aware of the accusation that the wife of one of the dead men was having an affair w/ the local sheriff. The sheriff who had Erick indicted.
Whether this is true or not, I cannot say. But I can say I heard it well prior to the incident in June 2016 w/ Erick and the men. Erick and Linda mentioned to me many, many times that they could get no action on the theft accusations, because the sheriff was having an affair w/ one of the men’s wife and she didn’t want her husband arrested.
Erick and Linda tried to get police intervention for the frequent thefts from their property and verbal altercations. According to Erick and Linda, they were not taken seriously and nothing happened. They were left victimized and victims of theft and threats. I cannot tell you how many times I discussed this w/ Erick and Linda in the 2 or 3 years leading up to this. Probably at least 10 times, maybe more.
I hope you will contact me to expound, as I may be able to. I cannot believe NONE of this evidence was allowed at trial and it should have been allowed at trial. I can tell you this – I heard all these accusations of theft and acrimony between the parties several years before the incident of 2016.
If justice is to be done, Erick’s trial should be overturned. Stephanie A.-NY