Rowan hearing moved to December

Published 8:15 am Tuesday, October 4, 2022

It will be a few more months before Christopher Michael Rowan will be back in court. The 32-year-old Crewe resident, who stands accused of murdering a Farmville man, saw his case continued once again on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Rowan had been set to have a review hearing as he faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, first offense. That didn’t happen. Instead, his attorney asked for the case to be continued for a second straight month. The preliminary hearing was originally scheduled for Aug. 10, but got continued until Sept. 28 upon request.

Now the review hearing will be held on Dec. 14. The review hearing is held to make sure both parties are ready for trial, address any problems that have come up and set a date for the actual trial. In some cases, it’s also to determine if the accused would be a danger to the community if released before trial. However with this being a murder case, that doesn’t apply.

In a previous interview with The Herald, Nottoway County Commonwealth’s Attorney Leanne Watrous said it’s not uncommon to see changing times and dates in a case like this.

“It is worth noting that if someone is in custody, the hearing may take place at a different time,” Watrous said. “(That depends) on whether the person appears in person or via video and the jail’s video hearing schedule (and) availability.”

The case as it stands

The charges stem from an incident that happened Thursday, June 2 of this year. The Nottoway Sheriff’s Office was called out in response to shots being fired at a home in the 3000 block of West Courthouse Road in Nottoway. Deputies and a Blackstone police unit arrived and found 27-year-old Farmville resident Bryan Barber dead inside.

Rowan, who lived at the home, was taken into custody at the scene and charged with Barber’s murder. He was formerly employed with the Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Barber was originally from Henrico County. He moved to Farmville with his wife of four years, Krystal, to get out of the city, according to what his family told The Herald in an interview this summer. Barber was a 2013 graduate of J. R. Tucker High School in Henrico and worked with his dad at a family friend’s auto shop, Gum Spring Automotive, in Gum Spring.