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Body of murder victim found in van on I-77

WYTHE COUNTY — An area deputy got a shock when he found the body of an apparent homicide victim in the back of a van stopped for speeding on Interstate 77 Thursday morning.
The occupants of the van, Lisa Church Damron, 31, and Jerry Wayne Damron, 42, both of Southwest Sixth Street in Taylorsville, N.C., are being held without bond in New River Valley Regional Jail.
Charges were issued for both suspects this morning for first degree murder, in connection with the discovery of a deceased female found in the cargo area of the van, according to a press release from Det. Sgt. Lisa Johnson of the Taylorsville Police Department.
According to Wythe County Sheriff Doug King, a deputy with his department was doing an inventory on the 2002 Ford Aerostar van before having it towed when the woman’s body was discovered wrapped in a blanket in a trunk compartment in the back of the van.
King said the victim appears to have died of multiple gunshot wounds. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
King said Taylorsville police were not aware of the incident until they were notified by Wythe County authorities.
Upon further investigation, the scene of the homicide was discovered to be in Taylorsville at the residence of the two suspects, according to the press release from Johnson.
The Damrons, who are married, are not believed to have any local connections, King said. He speculated they were passing through en route to dispose of the body. He indicated they hadn’t been in Wythe County but about five minutes when they were pulled over.
The deputy stopped the northbound I-77 van around 8:30 a.m. when his radar registered it traveling 85 miles per hour in a 65 zone, King said. Lisa Damron was driving and her husband was in the passenger seat.
After talking with the couple, the deputy placed both of the Damrons under arrest. Lisa was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. Her husband was charged with being drunk in public.
The officer found the body around 9:11 a.m., resulting in both suspects being charged with transportation of a dead body with malicious intent to prevent the detection of an unlawful act (also known as concealment of a dead body). The charge is a Class 6 felony carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Jerry Damron also is charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, three counts of carrying a concealed weapon and felony assault of a police officer.
King said the concealed weapon charges stem from three handguns found inside the van. Police do not yet know whether any of those guns was used in the shooting.
The assault charge resulted from an incident that occurred while Damron was being “placed in lockup,” the sheriff said.
According to an October story by Richard Gould in the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record, Jerry Damron was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving Sept. 26, 2008 in connection with a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of the Damron’s nine-year-old son, Hauston.
The story states that Lisa Damron and five of their other children ranging in age from one to seven were in the van Jerry was driving when it struck a tree. Four of the children, ages one, two, three and five, were reportedly critically injured. Lisa Damron and a seven-year-old were treated and released. Police reported Hauston was not wearing a seatbelt.
An obituary for Hauston Damron indicated he had two brothers and six sisters, including one living in Bassett in Southside Virginia, at that time.

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Body of murder victim found in van on I-77

WYTHE COUNTY — An area deputy got a shock when he found the body of an apparent homicide victim in the back of a van stopped for speeding on Interstate 77 Thursday morning.
The occupants of the van, Lisa Church Damron, 31, and Jerry Wayne Damron, 42, both of Southwest Sixth Street in Taylorsville, N.C., are being held without bond in New River Valley Regional Jail.
Charges were issued for both suspects this morning for first degree murder, in connection with the discovery of a deceased female found in the cargo area of the van, according to a press release from Det. Sgt. Lisa Johnson of the Taylorsville Police Department.
According to Wythe County Sheriff Doug King, a deputy with his department was doing an inventory on the 2002 Ford Aerostar van before having it towed when the woman’s body was discovered wrapped in a blanket in a trunk compartment in the back of the van.
King said the victim appears to have died of multiple gunshot wounds. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
King said Taylorsville police were not aware of the incident until they were notified by Wythe County authorities.
Upon further investigation, the scene of the homicide was discovered to be in Taylorsville at the residence of the two suspects, according to the press release from Johnson.
The Damrons, who are married, are not believed to have any local connections, King said. He speculated they were passing through en route to dispose of the body. He indicated they hadn’t been in Wythe County but about five minutes when they were pulled over.
The deputy stopped the northbound I-77 van around 8:30 a.m. when his radar registered it traveling 85 miles per hour in a 65 zone, King said. Lisa Damron was driving and her husband was in the passenger seat.
After talking with the couple, the deputy placed both of the Damrons under arrest. Lisa was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. Her husband was charged with being drunk in public.
The officer found the body around 9:11 a.m., resulting in both suspects being charged with transportation of a dead body with malicious intent to prevent the detection of an unlawful act (also known as concealment of a dead body). The charge is a Class 6 felony carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Jerry Damron also is charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, three counts of carrying a concealed weapon and felony assault of a police officer.
King said the concealed weapon charges stem from three handguns found inside the van. Police do not yet know whether any of those guns was used in the shooting.
The assault charge resulted from an incident that occurred while Damron was being “placed in lockup,” the sheriff said.
According to an October story by Richard Gould in the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record, Jerry Damron was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving Sept. 26, 2008 in connection with a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of the Damron’s nine-year-old son, Hauston.
The story states that Lisa Damron and five of their other children ranging in age from one to seven were in the van Jerry was driving when it struck a tree. Four of the children, ages one, two, three and five, were reportedly critically injured. Lisa Damron and a seven-year-old were treated and released. Police reported Hauston was not wearing a seatbelt.
An obituary for Hauston Damron indicated he had two brothers and six sisters, including one living in Bassett in Southside Virginia, at that time.

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