Guilty Plea Entered in Orange County Murder
A Louisa County man has pleaded guilty to murdering an elderly man.
James Melvin Smith entered the first degree murder plea Friday afternoon in Orange County Circuit Court for the death of 84-year-old James Weaver. Melvin could face life in prison.
Weaver was bludgeoned to death inside his Orange County home in April of 2012 and was found by a neighbor who regularly checked on him.
Investigators discovered Smith worked off and on at Weaver's home and later tracked him down in West Virginia. Smith was originally charged with first degree murder along with a slew of forgery and other fraud-related charges. But in December of last year, a judge granted a request to separate the murder charge into a separate case from the others, but said any evidence indicating a motive would be allowed in the murder case. Those fraud and forgery charges are still pending in Orange County.
Smith is set to be sentenced for the murder on December 6.