PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The commonwealth’s attorney in Petersburg has dismissed five charges against accused murderer Kristopher Jones.
They are no longer prosecuting Jones for the charges of abduction, robbery, carjacking, grand larceny and eluding police.
Minnie Woodard’s family was in court Thursday and said they’ll be there for every hearing every court date until this case goes to trial.
“It’s important for us to stand up, to be counted,” said Woodard’s son, Tony Woodard. “Represent my mother. Represent my father. Represent our family.”
Woodard’s son described what it’s like to face his mother’s accused killer in court and hear the details of both his mother and fathers attack.
“Very painful,” he said. “To have to relive this as many times as we’re going to have to relive it, this case is not going to be over in a week or two it’s going to be a while.”
In court Thursday, Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cheryl Wilson requested to dismiss those five charges in light of the capital murder charges he is facing.
Those charges all relate to the abduction of Pastor Alfred Woodard, Minnie’s husband.
Wilson cited the time it has taken to get evidence back from the lab that has delayed moving forward with the capital murder trial.
Jones’ attorney, David Baugh, argued the motion was an effort to further delay his clients right to a speedy trial.
It took eight months for an autopsy to be completed and at this time only one piece of evidence, related to fingerprints, has been returned from the lab.
“Everything they did could have been done sooner,” Baugh said in court. “And he’s been sitting in jail the whole time.”
The judge did not agree with Jones’ attorneys and said the commonwealth’s attorney had “no control over the lab.”
The family said their focus is on the capital charges and they have faith that justice will be served.
“My mother mattered,” T. Woodard said. “Minnie Woodard, she matters. Janice Lugo, she matters.”
Kristopher Jones is set to appear again in court on October 19. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.