Buckingham Family Awaits Trial of Murder Suspect

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

September 3, 2007

Almost six years after Shantay Wheeler's remains were found in a remote area of Louisa County, the trial is set to begin for the man charged with her murder.

Jennifer Wheeler was the last family member to see her younger sister Shantay alive on that unforgettable April day in 2001.

“I got off work at 2:00. Irvin called me like ten minutes after 2:00 from his mom’s house and asked if I had seen Shantay. I said no she told me that she was with him; so I knew something was funny then,” said Jennifer.

Shantay was 8 1/2 months pregnant and never showed up for her own baby shower--but it wasn't until five months later in September of 2001, when the bodies of Shantay and baby Raheem.

Jennifer said, “She never had any problems with anybody, she got along with everybody around here. Everybody knew her, she was friendly, and she was a nice person.”

The family suspected Irvin Fountain, Shantay’s boyfriend, had something to do with the murder because, according to the family, he may have been upset Shantay was pregnant with his child.

“If he didn't want to be involved all he had to do was just leave her alone, and just let her go on about her business, but apparently he chose not to do that,” said Jennifer.

The Wheelers have had many questions for the last six years, but they hope by the end of the week at least one of those questions will be answered.

“I would just like to know what was the reason. Why? Why he had to kill her? Why? Everybody wants to know why,” said Jennifer.

Fountain pleaded not guilty to charges of Capital Murder, he is also facing firearms charges in this case.

Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney says he isn't seeking the death penalty; if convicted Fountain will face a maximum of life in prison with no chance of parole.

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