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Grand jury to hear triple murder Mendota case

Grand jury to hear triple murder Mendota case

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James Michael Wright

James Michael Wright

ABINGDON, Va. — A Washington County, Virginia, grand jury will soon decide whether to indict a Mendota man accused of killing three women in early 2019.

James Michael Wright, 25, appeared in Washington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Thursday on three counts of capital murder. He’s been charged in the deaths of Athina Renea Hopson, 25, of Johnson City, Tennessee; Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter, 22, of Elizabethton, Tennessee; and Joslyn M. Alsup, 17, of Cobb County in Georgia.

A preliminary hearing was held Thursday. Three witnesses, including law enforcement officers, testified about the case. All three bodies were found in the vicinity of Wright’s property in Mendota. He claimed the women were shot accidentally.

All nine felonies were certified by the judge and will be sent to the next term of the Washington County grand jury, according to Washington County Commonwealth Attorney Josh Cumbow.

An initial trial date will then be set, Cumbow said.

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