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May 18, 2017

Murder defendant released Thursday on $25k bond

Richard T. MacDonald told sheriff’s investigators that he shot Larry Walker three times before dawn Feb. 19 in a home near Warrenton.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A man charged with the February murder of a longtime friend near Warrenton got released on a $25,000 cash bond Thursday afternoon.

After a brief hearing in Fauquier County General District Court, Judge J. Gregory Ashwell approved the release of Richard Turner MacDonald, 64.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher and defense attorney Blair Howard this morning worked out the details of the bond agreement.

Declining to discuss the case, Mr. Howard said after the hearing: “I have an agreement with Mr. Fisher not to make any comment about” any evidence related to the case, “other than to say there are lab tests being done on evidence we haven’t seen.”

Mr. McDonald, who waived his right to a preliminary hearing in general district court, faces a murder charge for allegedly killing Turkey Run Road neighbor, Larry Walker, 56, before dawn on Sunday, Feb. 19.

Mr. MacDonald’s case will go to a grand jury for probable indictment in circuit court. He must appear in that court at 3 p.m. Monday, May 22, Judge Ashwell said.

The defendant rented from the victim’s parents the home at 5442 Turkey Run Road, where the killing took place.

A third man — Donald Busick — had joined Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Walker for a weekend of heavy drinking, according to court documents.

But, apparently Mr. Busick left the home before the killing, the documents indicate.

Investigators on Feb.19 took a video statement from Mr. Busick, who appeared in court Thursday and swore to the statement’s accuracy.

The recording will be considered sworn testimony for all hearings related to the case, should Mr. Busick be unable to attend such proceedings.

On the morning of the killing, Mr. MacDonald told sheriff’s deputies that he shot the victim three times, according to the arrest document.

Dispatched at 4:59 a.m., deputies arrived to find Mr. Walker on the bloody kitchen floor of the defendant’s home.

“There is evidence showing that the body had been moved in or around the residence,” Detective J.S. “Strick” Payne wrote in a search warrant affidavit.

“Richard (MacDonald) advised he was trying to get the victim to leave his residence when he became involved in a physical altercation with him,” Detective Cory Ashby wrote in the arrest warrant. “Richard advised while fighting Larry (Walker), Larry presented his firearm and they struggled over the gun.”
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Rover 530 · May 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm
$25,000 bond for a suspected murderer! I get the fact that he's innocent until proven guilty but, please, MURDER!. The suspect admitted that he shot the victim. The judiciary should give the public the protection it deserves. The defendant will be safe, fed, and medically treated in jail. Releasing a suspected violent person into the general population is not wise. At least the bail could have been $1 Million or more. If found not guilty, the defendant would be free and clear to resume his life.
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