Two jailed in holiday homicide

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two Pamplin men are charged in connection with the death of a 56-year-old man who was shot while driving a car Thanksgiving morning and died the next day in a Charlottesville hospital.

Douglas Wheeler, 54, of Pamplin was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier north on Height School Road when the vehicle left the right side of the road and struck a fence.

Virginia State Police Trooper A.C.S. Goss responded to the crash at 8:34 a.m. in the 3800 block of Height School Road, which is located between Pamplin and Darlington Heights in Prince Edward County.

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Wheeler was pulled from the vehicle, and as medical responders treated him, they discovered he was suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound, a state police spokeswoman said. Wheeler was flown to UVA Hospital, where he died Friday afternoon.

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

State Police arrested Robert D.A. Walker, 44, of Pamplin, at an Appomattox County residence Saturday. Walker was being held Monday evening at Piedmont Regional Jail on charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Ricky L. Jennings, 56, of Pamplin, and Walker were passengers in the car and were not injured in the crash, according to state police. Jennings was taken into custody at the scene without incident; Walker fled the scene on foot. A firearm was also recovered by state police near the crashed vehicle.

Jennings was charged Thursday with aggravated felonious assault, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and being drunk in public. Jennings was also being held Monday at Piedmont Regional Jail.

The incident remains under investigation by Goss and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office.