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March 25, 2013

Fauquier murder defendant faces five capital charges

John Wesley Jeffries allegedly tied up and murdered his former neighbors.
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The defendant in the last month’s murder of an elderly couple near The Plains faces five charges for which he could get the death penalty.

A Fauquier County Circuit Court grand jury Monday indicted John Wesley Jeffries on 12 felony counts.

Two counts of capital murder/abduction, two counts of capital murder/robbery and a capital/double murder charge top the indictments.

Mr. Jeffries, 60, allegedly tied up and murdered Ethel and Nelson Slack on Feb. 23 in their home at 7282 Bunker Hill Road. Mrs. Slack was 74; her husband was 80.

Police arrested Mr. Jeffries four days later in Fredericksburg.

The grand jury Wednesday also indicted him on:

• Two counts of abduction.

• Two counts of strangulation.

• Two counts of robbery.

• One count of cocaine possession.

Mr. Jeffries had lived in the same neighborhood as the Slacks, whom he knew.

A convicted sex offender, the murder defendant also faces assault charges in Spotsylvania County.

Judge Jeffrey W. Parker on Monday afternoon appointed the Northern Virginia Capital Defender’s Office to represent Mr. Jeffries, who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Judge Parker on April 8 will consider appointing a law firm to join the defense team — as the state code allows in capital cases.

The defendant appeared briefly in court.

He said only one word: “No,” when the judge asked if could afford an attorney.
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UDONTSAY · March 26, 2013 at 10:39 am
Virginia taxpayers will not only be paying to take care of this 60 year old defendant for the rest of his life but the costs of a capital trial and appeals will run into the millions of extra dollars. Saving money is a false argument for the death penalty.
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