Teen pleads guilty in hammer slaying of elderly neighbor

Chesterfield County
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A 17-year-old Virginia boy has pleaded guilty to beating his 87-year-old neighbor to death with a hammer last year.

Raphael Angel Vargas pleaded guilty Friday in the April killing of Bryan Walker of Chesterfield. Vargas was 16 at the time of Walker’s murder.

Vargas is scheduled for sentencing on April 14.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says a prosecutor told the judge that DNA testing on a drop of blood found behind Vargas’ right ear showed that it was Walker’s blood.

Investigators also found Masonic pins and cuff links belonging to Walker at Vargas’ home.

Walker was a longtime member of the Chester Masonic Temple. He also served 30 years on Chesterfield’s Preservation Committee and worked to get several properties in Chesterfield County designated as historic landmarks.

A monument honoring Walker’s historic preservation work was dedicated by local officials in November.

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