Victims identified in mass murder in Appomattox County

Law enforcement officials have charged Christopher B. Speight, 39, of Appomattox, Va., with one count of First Degree Murder involving the deaths of eight individuals. Speight was taken into custody at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday (Jan. 20, 2010) after surrendering to SWAT Team members. Further charges are pending against Speight.

The Mass Casualty Team with the Office of the State Medical Examiner and special agents with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation began processing the crime scene in the 3000 block of Snapps Mill Road/Route703 early this morning. Identifications of the victims have been confirmed and next of kin have been notified. The following eight victims have been identified as:

Ronald I. Scruggs II, 16, of Dillwyn, Va.
Emily A. Quarles, 15, of Appomattox, Va.
Karen Quarles, 43, of Appomattox, Va.
Jonathan L. Quarles, 43, of Appomattox, Va.
Dwayne S. Sipe, 38, of Appomattox, Va.
Lauralee Sipe, 38, of Appomattox, Va.
Joshua Sipe, 4, of Appomattox, Va.
Morgan L. Dobyns, 15, of Appomattox, Va.

All of the victims were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke where cause of death will be determined.

Speight was acquainted with the victims and he had lived at the residence where the murders took place. He co-owns the residence and owns land adjacent to the residence.

Speight is being held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg with no bond. No arraignment date has been set. Speight’s motives remain under investigation.

State and local law enforcement are securing the area through the night and crime scene technicians will be back at the scene tomorrow for further processing.

From a release.

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