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06/28/2005

Va. deputy sheriff killed while transporting juvenile

Officer Down: James E. Weaver - [Dinwiddie, Virginia]

Biographical Details

Age: 59

Additional Info: Lieutenant Weaver had served with the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office for 16 years.

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Lt. Weaver was shot and killed with his own service weapon during a struggle with a juvenile prisoner.

Date of Incident: June 27, 2005

Suspect Info: The 15-year-old boy fled to a nearby apartment and later turned himself in.

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The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. A Dinwiddie County sheriff's deputy is dead after officials say a 15-year-old he was transporting from a court appearance shot him multiple times with his own gun.

Police say 59-year-old Lieutenant James Weaver died yesterday at V-C-U Medical Center.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the incident happened around 1:30 p-m near Crater Road and Interstate 95 in Petersburg. Police tell the newspaper that Weaver was returning the teen to the Crater Juvenile Detention Center from a court appearance.

But during the ride, the two somehow began struggling. The teen suffered one gunshot wound before grabbing Weaver's gun and shooting the officer an undetermined number of times.

Police say the teen fled on foot into a nearby apartment but came out 90 minutes later after his father called and talked him into surrendering.

He faces a capital-murder charge and other charges.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

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Copyright 2005 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

June 29, 2005 Wednesday
CITY EDITION

AREA/STATE; Pg. B-7

442 words

CAPITAL-MURDER CHARGE LODGED;
YOUTH FACES CHARGES AS ADULT IN KILLING OF DINWIDDIE DEPUTY

By Andrew Price Times-Dispatch Staff Writer Contact Andrew Price at (804) 524-9725 or [email protected] Staff writer Osita Iroegbu contributed to this report.

A 15-year-old faces six charges as an adult -- including capital murder -- in the shooting death of Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Lt. James B. Weaver.

The charges against Joe Thomas were outlined at a hearing yesterday afternoon in Petersburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

In addition, he was charged with use of a firearm, abduction, felony escape, grand larceny and possession of a firearm as a juvenile.

"The officers did a very good job canvassing the area [and] locating witnesses, and based on the investigation, we were able to make charges," Petersburg's Commonwealth's Attorney Cassandra Burns said.

If convicted, Thomas faces life in prison.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibits execution for people who killed as juveniles.

Burns said Thomas is being held at the Crater Juvenile Detention Center until his next scheduled court appearance on July 15.

"Given the circumstances, I don't think there is a possibility for bail at this time," she said.

Thomas has been appointed a public defender, but Burns said it is the family's decision whether to keep the public defender to represent the youth.

While walking to the courthouse, Thomas' father offered his condolences to Weaver's family.

Weaver was shot multiple times Monday about 1:20 p.m. on Tollgate Lane in Petersburg, where he was transporting the juvenile from a court appearance back to the Crater detention center.

Burns did not explain why Weaver and Thomas happened to be in the Tollgate Lane cul-de-sac where the shooting occurred. The street is in a residential area off South Crater Road near Interstate 95.

Weaver was flown to VCU Medical Center, where he died Monday evening.

His body is at the state medical examiner's office awaiting an autopsy.

A 16-year veteran of the Dinwiddie Sheriff's Office, Weaver was assigned to the courthouse in 1998.

A sheriff's office spokesman said the 59-year-old deputy was in charge of courthouse security, which includes transporting prisoners.

Dinwiddie Investigator William Knott said that as far as he knows, the county policy on transporting prisoners was being followed.

"I'm sure everybody's going to be more cautious because of this incident," Dinwiddie Lt. Duck Adams said. "[Weaver] was a very conscientious, security-minded individual [who] took his job and security very serious. He never had any problems. He always did things the way they should've been done."

The vehicle Weaver was driving did not have a police shield separating the back and front seats.

"Some police cars do [have shields]; some don't," the spokesman said. "It depends a lot on the job description, the duties of the individual and personal preference."

June 30, 2005
 
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