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Virginia murder cold case heats up as man pleads guilty

A 44-year-old man has entered guilty pleas in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on charges that he participated in the killing of a mother and son in 2004. No suspects had been arrested in the case until 2018 when investigators had a breakthrough that led them to the murder suspect out of state. His arrest then enabled authorities to arrest the husband of the female victim.

His guilty plea on charges that included capital murder, first-degree murder and arson confirmed his involvement in the attack and house fire that killed a woman and her 7-year-old son. The events in 2004 took place on Newcombe Road in Virginia Beach. When police responded to the scene, they encountered the female victim's brother suffering from a gunshot wound outside the burning house. The injuries sustained by the woman and boy inside the house later killed them.

According to investigators, the man who has entered guilty pleas in the case conspired with the husband to commit the killings. For that reason, he was originally charged with capital murder for hire, but the court amended the original charge to capital murder. His sentencing will take place in the spring. A trial against the husband has been scheduled for spring as well.

People have the right to legal representation when accused of felonies. Due to the serious nature of such accusations, a person might want legal advice regarding his or her rights and defense options. A case evaluation by an attorney who understands the criminal prosecution process might provide insight into the strength of the evidence and a person's chances of winning an acquittal at trial. To prepare for a trial, a lawyer might gather evidence that introduces a narrative that challenges the assumptions made by a prosecutor. An attorney's attention to detail when speaking to jurors might ultimately limit successful prosecution.

Source: WAVY.com, "Man pleads guilty to killing woman, son and setting their Virginia Beach home on fire in 2004," Sarah Fearing, Dec. 17, 2019

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