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Fredericksburg man charged with Fauquier double murder

Monday, Mar. 25 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
WARRENTON - A Fredericksburg man, arrested last month, was charged Monday with killing an elderly couple in their home near The Plains.

John Wesley Jeffries, 60, of Fredericksburg, was indicted and arraigned in Fauquier County Circuit Court Monday two counts of capital murder in commission of an abduction, one count of double murder, two counts of capital murder in commission of a robbery, two counts of abduction, two counts of robbery, two counts of strangulation and two counts of possession of cocaine.

He appeared in court, clean-shaven and shackled at his ankles, accused of killing Nelson Slack, 80, and his wife Ethel Slack, 74.

On Feb. 24, Fauquier sheriff's deputies discovered the Slacks slain in their home in the 7200 block of Bunker Hill Road. A day before, deputies came to the road to investigate an unfamiliar car that had been parked on a property near the home of the Slacks.

According to a search warrant return filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court, that car, a 1997 Hyundai coupe, belonged to Jeffries' wife Diana.

Investigators quickly made the connection between the car and Jeffries, who at the time was wanted in Spotsylvania County for felony charges of abduction, strangling and malicious wounding.

Deputies searched an abandoned house on the property and monitored the car Saturday night, Hartman said.

That same night in Fredericksburg, a 68-year-old man reportedly encountered a man he believed to be Jeffries, who had entered the man's home claiming the police were after him.

The man fought off the intruder, hitting him in the head with an oxygen tank.

On Sunday morning, at 10:43 a.m., Fauquier deputies summoned a bloodhound tracking team to find Jeffries from the car he had abandoned on his property.

The trackers had been working for about 15 minutes when deputies got a call asking them to check on the Slacks, who had not shown up for church that morning.

After getting no answer at the home, searching area hospitals, talking to Slacks' family members and putting out a lookout for their car, they revisited the house around 1:19 p.m., Hartman said.

They forced their way inside after getting approval from family members and found the Slacks dead inside.

On Feb. 27, Fredericksburg police arrested Jeffries at a home in the 2000 block of Lafayette Boulevard in Fredericksburg, at the home of a known associate.

At Monday's hearing, Judge Jeffrey Parker appointed Dan Goldman, an attorney from the Northern Virginia Capital Defender's Office, to represent Jeffries. Parker said Jeffries qualifies for two attorneys, the other to be appointed later. Jeffries's next hearing will be April 9 in circuit court at 10 a.m.
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