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Meeks, Griffin To Be Tried Separately - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Meeks, Griffin To Be Tried Separately

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Two men accused of robbing and killing a retired teacher in Nelson County could head to death row if convicted.

A judge officially dropped first degree murder charges against Austin Griffin and Christopher Meeks and replaced them with capital murder for their alleged role in Opal Page's murder. Now the two men have a while to wait before they go before a jury.

Judge J. Michael Gamble set two separate trial dates for Austin Griffin and Christopher Meeks Thursday. Christopher Meeks' 10 day capital murder trial has been set for next March while Austin Griffin's 10 day capital murder trial is set to go from the end of next May, into June.

The men are accused of breaking into 73-year-old Opal Page's home and stabbing her to death in May of 2009. They stole her car and police later found it in Waynesboro. In previous court appearances, both men admitted to being at the home, but since the beginning, they have pointed the finger at each other for the actual murder.

Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Phil Payne said in court that he plans to seek the death penalty.

There are several more hearings set between now and the trials, but the trial dates are set, they will be tried separately and could wind up on death row.

Reported by Tracy Clemons
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Case Timeline:

May 7, 2009 - Nelson County investigators find 73-year-old Opal Page dead in her home 7000 block of Rockfish Valley Highway. Her stolen car is later found in Waynesboro. Read more...

May 11, 2009 – Nelson County Police arrest 18-year-old Christopher Meeks of Shipman and 20-year-old Austin Griffin of Afton. Read more...

May 12, 2009 – Nelson County investigators find the knife that killed Opal Page. Read more...

May 13, 2009 – Meeks and Griffin make first court appearance, charged with first degree murder.

March 24, 2010 – Preliminary hearing for Griffin and Meeks. Witnesses testified that both men admitted to being at Opal Page's house the night she was killed but both men accuse the other of the actual murder of Page.

May 25, 2010 – Grand jury upgrades charges against both Meeks and Griffin from first degree murder to capital murder, meaning they could face the death penalty.

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