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Orange County Murder Investigation

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Orange County Sheriff's Office sent the following press release Friday night:

Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff's Office along with the assistance of the West Virginia State Police questioned James Melvin Smith about his involvement in the murder.

As a result of their interview Mr. Smith has been charged with first degree murder. He is currently being held in the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, W.V. awaiting extradition back to Orange County.


Authorities have found the man wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of an elderly Orange County man. Police located 43-year-old James Smith across state lines Friday afternoon. This is so far the biggest lead in this murder investigation.


Investigators believe Smith was the last person to see 84-year-old James Weaver alive. A neighbor found 84-year-old James Weaver dead in his home Thursday morning.

The autopsy report released Friday confirmed Weaver died after suffering blunt force trauma to the head.

Authorities located James Melvin Smith of Louisa County earlier this afternoon. The sheriff's office believes Smith was doing work at Weaver's home around the time of the murder. While he is not wanted for murder at this time, authorities say it is the best lead they have in the case.

Orange County Sheriff Mark Amos said, "We need to talk to him. He's not wanted for murder, but we do need to talk to him."

Investigators are now in the process of trying to get Smith back to Virginia for questioning. Smith is wanted for six felony warrants.

This is the Orange County sheriff's first murder investigation in almost three years. The last was back in 2009.

If you have any information that could help investigators, call the Orange County Sheriff's Office at 540-672-1200.

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