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Murder case certified to grand jury

PULASKI COUNTY — A preliminary hearing was held in Pulaski County General District Court this past week on the first-degree murder charge against Richard Forest Mabry, who is alleged to have killed Dawn Lee Wright.
Prior to the start of the hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor noted that Mabry had been evaluated to determine if he was competent to stand trial and the clinician had determined that he is competent.
The evaluation and preparation of that report had been the reason the January incident had been delayed.
Fleenor called three witnesses to testify.
Sgt. William R. Ritter of
the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office testified that he went to the crime scene on Jan. 23, 2008, where Wright’s body was discovered in a ravine about 15 yards off Alum Spring Mountain Road. Also known as the road to “Bloomer’s Mountain,” Ritter described the crime scene and how the body was positioned in the ravine.
Sgt. Ritter collected evidence and directed the removal of Wright’s body to Pulaski Community Hospital. From there, the body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office in Roanoke.
Fleenor’s second witness was Dr. Christena Roberts. Dr. Roberts, who in the past had been employed as a medical examiner in the State of Florida, testified that she performed an autopsy of Wright at the facility in Roanoke. She discovered a considerable amount of blood loss from five stab wounds. There were two wounds to the front chest that perforated the lungs, two wounds to the back and one to her thigh. Dr. Roberts testified that the cause of Wright’s death were the stab wounds to the lungs and loss of blood. Clearly, the death was a homicide, according to Dr. Roberts.
The last witness called by Fleenor was Capt. Brian Wade, who is head of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. Wade testified that he interviewed the defendant Mabry on three occasions. On the last occasion, Wade said Mabry told him he had killed Wright.
Mabry described to Wade how he and French David Kanode went to Radford and picked up Wright in a van. According to Mabry, Kanode was trying to recruit him to join the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. As part of the ritual for joining the gang, Kanode told Mabry that there was a “policy” of “blood in-blood out,” meaning that to join the Pagans a prospect had to kill someone and to leave the Pagans a member had to kill as well. Mabry claimed that Kanode threatened to kill his (Mabry’s) family if he did not participate in this initiation ritual.
Mabry further told Wade that after he killed Wright, he gave Kanode the knife he used.
Judge Glenwood Lookabill found probable cause to certify the case to the next sitting of the Pulaski County Grand Jury where an indictment on the first-degree murder charge will be sought.
If the grand jury hands down an indictment, Fleenor said he expects the case to go to trial in Pulaski County Circuit Court this fall or early winter.

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Murder case certified to grand jury

PULASKI COUNTY — A preliminary hearing was held in Pulaski County General District Court this past week on the first-degree murder charge against Richard Forest Mabry, who is alleged to have killed Dawn Lee Wright.
Prior to the start of the hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor noted that Mabry had been evaluated to determine if he was competent to stand trial and the clinician had determined that he is competent.
The evaluation and preparation of that report had been the reason the January incident had been delayed.
Fleenor called three witnesses to testify.
Sgt. William R. Ritter of
the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office testified that he went to the crime scene on Jan. 23, 2008, where Wright’s body was discovered in a ravine about 15 yards off Alum Spring Mountain Road. Also known as the road to “Bloomer’s Mountain,” Ritter described the crime scene and how the body was positioned in the ravine.
Sgt. Ritter collected evidence and directed the removal of Wright’s body to Pulaski Community Hospital. From there, the body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office in Roanoke.
Fleenor’s second witness was Dr. Christena Roberts. Dr. Roberts, who in the past had been employed as a medical examiner in the State of Florida, testified that she performed an autopsy of Wright at the facility in Roanoke. She discovered a considerable amount of blood loss from five stab wounds. There were two wounds to the front chest that perforated the lungs, two wounds to the back and one to her thigh. Dr. Roberts testified that the cause of Wright’s death were the stab wounds to the lungs and loss of blood. Clearly, the death was a homicide, according to Dr. Roberts.
The last witness called by Fleenor was Capt. Brian Wade, who is head of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. Wade testified that he interviewed the defendant Mabry on three occasions. On the last occasion, Wade said Mabry told him he had killed Wright.
Mabry described to Wade how he and French David Kanode went to Radford and picked up Wright in a van. According to Mabry, Kanode was trying to recruit him to join the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. As part of the ritual for joining the gang, Kanode told Mabry that there was a “policy” of “blood in-blood out,” meaning that to join the Pagans a prospect had to kill someone and to leave the Pagans a member had to kill as well. Mabry claimed that Kanode threatened to kill his (Mabry’s) family if he did not participate in this initiation ritual.
Mabry further told Wade that after he killed Wright, he gave Kanode the knife he used.
Judge Glenwood Lookabill found probable cause to certify the case to the next sitting of the Pulaski County Grand Jury where an indictment on the first-degree murder charge will be sought.
If the grand jury hands down an indictment, Fleenor said he expects the case to go to trial in Pulaski County Circuit Court this fall or early winter.

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