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September 4, 2018

Murder suspect allegedly held sister under water 2x

Ashton Berry allegedly drowned his sister, Angie Walls, in a wading pool at the home they shared on Riley Road.
After an argument over prescription medication, a Warrenton area man allegedly drowned his sister by sitting on her head in their home’s inflatable wading pool Saturday afternoon.

The Fauquier sheriff’s office Sunday morning identified the victim as Angie A. Walls, 53, who lived in the 6739 Riley Road, northeast of town.

Deputies on Saturday afternoon charged Ashton Dunlap Berry, 51, with first-degree murder. Mr. Berry lived at the house with his sister and her boyfriend, according to Sgt. James Hartman.

Mr. Berry, also known as “Leon,” and Ms. Walls bickered over her prescription, according to according to a Sept. 1 search warrant affidavit.

The document indicates investigators removed from the home three kind of pills, including oxycodone, a highly addictive pain killer.

Mr. Berry told a detective that the dispute began at a table on the home’s deck, the warrant reads.

Ms. Walls grabbed his Diet Coke and tossed it off the deck, Mr. Berry said.

The rectangular, inflatable pool — approximately 2 feet deep — sits on the split-level home’s rear deck, Sgt. Hartman said.  

After Ms. Walls “grabbed his Super Big Gulp cup,” he placed her head in the children’s pool “and held it under the water until she was unresponsive,” Mr. Berry told a detective.

Mr. Berry then went inside the home, where he remained “for a while,” the warrant states.

After returning to the deck, he noticed that his sister “was moving.”

“He stated he put her head back in the children’s pool on the deck and held it under water by sitting on her head until she was unresponsive again.”

Ms. Walls’ boyfriend, Fred Dove later arrived at the home, discovered her and called 9-1-1.

Saturday “at 2:30 p.m., deputies answered a 9-1-1 call for an unconscious female in a swimming pool,” Sgt. Hartman said Saturday night. “Deputies arrived at a residence . . . and located the victim, deceased on the rear deck.”

Mr. Dove’s sister, Denise Dove has created a GoFundMe page to help cover Ms. Walls’ funeral expenses.

On that page, Ms. Dove describes the victim as “a selfless person who only served others.

“She was the primary care giver for her father, caregiver of her brother, and helped watch her grandson. It’s unfair to be facing such an unreal nightmare.

Ms. Walls “was actively trying to get home placement for her brother, but would not get support from our mental health system that she needed.”

The responsibility of caring for Mr. Berry “was constantly pushed back on her, even after voicing multiple times that she was fearful for her life,” Ms. Dove wrote. “This was voiced over several months, yet our system continued to decide he should stay in her home.”

Ms. Dove hopes to raise $25,000. As of early Tuesday afternoon, 35 people had contributed $4,315.

Mr. Dove and Ms. Walls bought the home in December 2016, according to county real estate records. Mr. Berry lived with them.

Mr. Berry remains in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center without bond. He got arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Fauquier Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Judge Mellisa N. Cupp scheduled a Nov. 5 "status" hearing on the case. In the meantime, a psychological evaluation of Mr. Berry will be performed and the defendant will have a chance to secure legal representation.

The investigation continues, but authorities have no reason to believe the homicide involved anyone else, Sgt. Hartman said.

The sheriff’s office will provide more information after the state medical examiner’s office provides autopsy results, he said.
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