Six murder cases pending in IW

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight County law enforcement officials have reached a new milestone — they are currently juggling the most murder cases at any one time in recent memory. 

Pending trial are six cases, one dating back to 2004, according to Isle of Wight County Commonwealth’s Attorney Georgette Phillips. 

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The older cases include David Ricciardi, who is accused of murdering Naira Davis in 2014 and was recently deemed mentally fit to stand trial. Also on the docket later this month is Eric Saub, who was charged in the murder of Jean Marie Smith in 2015.  {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Davis was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat in the home of Ricciardi’s bedridden mother. Davis was a friend of the mother, and had arrived to help out the older woman. 

Hunters found Smith’s body in a wooded area off Courthouse Highway. Saub, who has been convicted of identity theft, among other crimes in the past, is planning to act in his own defense. 

Trabion Tynes is scheduled to go to trial in August in connection with the 2004 murder of his father, Johnny Tynes. 

Tynes died of blunt force trauma in his home off Tyler’s Beach Road. The case received renewed interest, which led to an arrest, as a result the Discovery Channel’s “Killing Fields: Murder Isle.” The story centered on the unsolved murder of Carrie Singer that occurred within days of the Tynes homicide. Although the show revealed, through DNA testing, that the murderer was likely a Hispanic male, no arrests have been made. 

In the last year, there have been three murder cases, ranging from the double homicide of Nancy and Kenneth Starnes in their Rushmere home, to the death of five-year-old Alexander Robertson, whose mother, Jaye Lynn Hadley was charged with second degree murder in connection with the boy’s death, as was Justin Cox, who lived in the house at the time. 

One of the Starnes’ defendants, Kareem Jamar Mitchell, is facing a possible capital murder charge. The other defendant, Richard Alexander Holmes, is charged with murder. 

A third co-defendant, Sharon Galvin, is charged with possession of and intent to sell stolen property and obstruction. A juvenile who was living in her home at the time was charged with similar crimes.

The Starnes’ were murdered in their home and multiple items were stolen, including a vehicle and guns. 

Robertson was rushed to the hospital in January with head injuries, where he later died. 

Finally, there is the murder of Dakota Gordon in late December after a shooting at Dollar General in Smithfield. His death led to the arrest of Justin St. Cyr, as well as several juvenile co-defendants. 

The incident involved an ounce of marijuana with a street value of about $300.  {/mprestriction}