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Mabry pleads guilty to murder charge

A man charged in connection with the January 2008 stabbing death of an acquaintance will serve 30 years of a 50-year prison sentence.
Richard Forest Mabry, 41, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court to first-degree murder in the death of Dawn Meredith Wright. Wright’s body was found several feet off a gravel road in the “Bloomer’s Mountain” section of the county Jan. 23.
After hearing a summary of the evidence, Judge Colin Gibb sentenced Mabry to 50 years in prison, with 20 years suspended and 30 years to serve.
“At age 41, a 30-year sentence is likely to be a life sentence for him,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said.
The prosecutor added, “This is a good example of the excellent work of the (Pulaski County) Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of this case. Those guys worked through the night and had made an arrest of Mabry within 24 hours of discovering the body.”
He said Mabry will be held at the New River Valley Regional Jail for up to six months before transferred to the Virginia Department of Corrections, which will decide where Mabry will serve his sentence.
“Most likely, he will be placed in a maximum security prison,” said Fleenor.
Mabry offered no comment prior to his sentencing.
In his summary of the case, Fleenor said an autopsy determined Wright died of multiple stab wounds to the chest and back.
After processing the scene, sheriff’s office investigators began questioning persons who last had contact with Wright. Fleenor said police discovered she had not been seen since Jan. 21, when she left her Radford residence with two men identified as Mabry and French David Kanode.
The commonwealth’s attorney said both men were interviewed, as well as a number of other individuals. Ultimately, Mabry made incriminating statements about his involvement in the murder, he said.
Fleenor said Mabry admitted to Capt. Brian Wade and Capt. John Croteau that he and Kanode had gone to Wright’s residence. He said the men talked her into leaving with them.
Mabry indicated that he was in the process of joining the Pagan’s Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and that Kanode allegedly was the representative of that gang, Fleenor said. He added that Mabry indicated Kanode told him that in order to join the gang, Mabry had to kill someone as part of an initiation known as “blood in-blood out.”
Kanode has not been charged in connection with the case.
After going to two Radford businesses, Fleenor said, Mabry and Wright dropped Kanode off at a residence off Black Hollow Road and then drove a short distance up “Bloomer’s Mountain.”
The prosecutor said Mabry gave police two different statements about what happened on the mountain.
First, Mabry indicated he stabbed Wright once in the leg in self-defense after they became involved in an argument. Mabry claimed the lethal wounds were the result of Wright falling on the knife.
Mabry later recanted the self-defense claim and admitted he killed the woman intentionally in order to join the Pagans, said Fleenor.
Mabry then said he stopped the van he was driving and pulled out a knife. After stabbing her once in the chest, Mabry said Wright ran from the van, and he caught up with her and stabbed her again.
At that point, Wright fell backward against a snow-covered embankment, and Mabry continued to stab her, according to Fleenor. Mabry then dragged her body across the road where it was discovered two days later.
Fleenor said he went to the scene when the body was discovered. He said it was apparent from the impressions in the snow on the road and on the bank that somebody had been there and a struggle had taken place.
Fleenor said Mabry returned to the residence where Kanode was left, but Kanode was gone. At that point, Mabry went to Kanode’s residence and told him what he had done.
Fleenor said Mabry insisted he committed the crime because he allegedly had been threatened by Kanode. Mabry told investigators Kanode allegedly threatened to kill Mabry’s family if Mabry didn’t go through with the killing.

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Mabry pleads guilty to murder charge

A man charged in connection with the January 2008 stabbing death of an acquaintance will serve 30 years of a 50-year prison sentence.
Richard Forest Mabry, 41, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court to first-degree murder in the death of Dawn Meredith Wright. Wright’s body was found several feet off a gravel road in the “Bloomer’s Mountain” section of the county Jan. 23.
After hearing a summary of the evidence, Judge Colin Gibb sentenced Mabry to 50 years in prison, with 20 years suspended and 30 years to serve.
“At age 41, a 30-year sentence is likely to be a life sentence for him,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said.
The prosecutor added, “This is a good example of the excellent work of the (Pulaski County) Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of this case. Those guys worked through the night and had made an arrest of Mabry within 24 hours of discovering the body.”
He said Mabry will be held at the New River Valley Regional Jail for up to six months before transferred to the Virginia Department of Corrections, which will decide where Mabry will serve his sentence.
“Most likely, he will be placed in a maximum security prison,” said Fleenor.
Mabry offered no comment prior to his sentencing.
In his summary of the case, Fleenor said an autopsy determined Wright died of multiple stab wounds to the chest and back.
After processing the scene, sheriff’s office investigators began questioning persons who last had contact with Wright. Fleenor said police discovered she had not been seen since Jan. 21, when she left her Radford residence with two men identified as Mabry and French David Kanode.
The commonwealth’s attorney said both men were interviewed, as well as a number of other individuals. Ultimately, Mabry made incriminating statements about his involvement in the murder, he said.
Fleenor said Mabry admitted to Capt. Brian Wade and Capt. John Croteau that he and Kanode had gone to Wright’s residence. He said the men talked her into leaving with them.
Mabry indicated that he was in the process of joining the Pagan’s Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and that Kanode allegedly was the representative of that gang, Fleenor said. He added that Mabry indicated Kanode told him that in order to join the gang, Mabry had to kill someone as part of an initiation known as “blood in-blood out.”
Kanode has not been charged in connection with the case.
After going to two Radford businesses, Fleenor said, Mabry and Wright dropped Kanode off at a residence off Black Hollow Road and then drove a short distance up “Bloomer’s Mountain.”
The prosecutor said Mabry gave police two different statements about what happened on the mountain.
First, Mabry indicated he stabbed Wright once in the leg in self-defense after they became involved in an argument. Mabry claimed the lethal wounds were the result of Wright falling on the knife.
Mabry later recanted the self-defense claim and admitted he killed the woman intentionally in order to join the Pagans, said Fleenor.
Mabry then said he stopped the van he was driving and pulled out a knife. After stabbing her once in the chest, Mabry said Wright ran from the van, and he caught up with her and stabbed her again.
At that point, Wright fell backward against a snow-covered embankment, and Mabry continued to stab her, according to Fleenor. Mabry then dragged her body across the road where it was discovered two days later.
Fleenor said he went to the scene when the body was discovered. He said it was apparent from the impressions in the snow on the road and on the bank that somebody had been there and a struggle had taken place.
Fleenor said Mabry returned to the residence where Kanode was left, but Kanode was gone. At that point, Mabry went to Kanode’s residence and told him what he had done.
Fleenor said Mabry insisted he committed the crime because he allegedly had been threatened by Kanode. Mabry told investigators Kanode allegedly threatened to kill Mabry’s family if Mabry didn’t go through with the killing.

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