Charlottesville Murder Suspect Waives Hearing

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

February 14, 2008

One of the Charlottesville men accused of killing a University of Virginia graduate waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Twenty-two-year-old William Gentry is accused of killing Jayne McGowan at her St. Claire Avenue home in November.

His 18-year-old cousin Michael Pritchett is also charged with capital murder.

Gentry's Defense Attorney, Lloyd Snook says the move was to prevent the families from the emotional trauma of a hearing.

He also suggested the prosecutor’s evidence shouldn’t allow the Commonwealth to distinguish between the two defendants as far as being equally culpable.

“Mr. Pritchett’s statement was that Gentry fired the first shot. The medical evidence shows that it was Mr. Pritchett fired the only shot that would have caused Jane McGowan’s death. So one fired the first shot, one fired the last shot there doesn't seem to be a lot of reason to distinguish between the two of them,” said Snook.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Pritchett also previously waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

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