Hanover Homicide Victim Identified - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Suspects In Hanover Teen's Murder Denied Bond

Brett A. Wells Brett A. Wells
Kevin M. Drayton, Jr. Kevin M. Drayton, Jr.
Xavia S. Highsmith Xavia S. Highsmith
Da'von T. Byars Da'von T. Byars

UPDATE: The three suspects arrested Monday in a Hanover teenager's weekend murder are being held without bond after appearing in court via video Tuesday morning.

Da'von Byars, Kevin Drayton Jr. and Xavia Highsmith will next appear in court February 10.

Hanover Sheriff's officials Tuesday said they had recovered a weapon believed to be connected to the shooting death of 16-year-old Brett Wells. Tests are being conducted to determine if the recovered weapon was the gun used in the shooting.

A memorial service is planned for Wells Tuesday evening at his church in Richmond. Stay with 8News for updates.

RELEASE from Hanover Sheriff's Department:

The Hanover County Sheriff's Office arrested three individuals Monday in connection with the recent shooting incident that occurred on January 21, 2012, in the 7300 block of Verdi Lane.

Investigators have arrested Da'von T. Byars, 19, of the 1400 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike in the City of Richmond; Kevin M. Drayton, Jr., 18, of the 8300 block of Rollins Lane in Mechanicsville; and, Xavia S. Highsmith, 18, of the 2000 block of N. 28th Street in the City of Richmond.

All three suspects have been charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and aggravated malicious wounding. All three subjects are currently incarcerated at Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.

The preliminary investigation indicates that a prior arrangement was made to purchase a quantity of marijuana from the victim. However, the intention of the suspects was never to purchase the marijuana. Rather, they intended to steal it.

As a result, a physical altercation ensued during the transaction, which led to Brett A. Wells being shot once in the chest. Subsequently, as the suspects were fleeing the scene, an additional shot was fired, which struck the second victim.

"I am exceptionally proud of the exhaustive efforts of our investigative staff in resolving this case in less than 48 hours. They have literally worked non-stop and are to be commended for their hard work and dedication. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the City of Richmond and Henrico County Police Departments for their direct assistance in furthering our investigation. Lastly, I would like to thank the community for their cooperation during this very trying time," said Colonel David R. Hines, Sheriff of Hanover County.

The Sheriff's Office joins the community in mourning the death of Brett Wells. We ask that the community keep the Wells family in their thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.

 


A 16-year-old Atlee High School student was shot and killed at a home in Mechanicsville late Saturday night.

A vigil for Wells and the other victim is planned for Monday night at New Song Church in Mechanicsville, beginning at 7 p.m.

A Hanover County schools officials released the following statement Monday morning:

"Hanover County Public Schools is deeply saddened by the death of Atlee High School sophomore Brett Wells, who passed away on January 21, 2012.

"There are no words that can adequately express our sorrow for the loss of one of our Atlee High School students. Hanover County Public Schools and the Atlee High School community extend our heartfelt sympathies to Brett's family and friends at this very difficult time.

"Counselors will be available for students at Atlee High School beginning Monday, January 23, 2012."

Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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