Mother Continues Push for Justice in Unsolved Charlottesville Murder
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Fluvanna County mother says Charlottesville police promised her results in the case of her murdered son, but are not delivering.
Jason “Jay” Lee Shifflett was shot at his Carlton Avenue home September 3, 2015. Robin Bryant marked what would have been her son’s 35th birthday by continuing to bring attention to the unsolved murder.
Bryant says she is sad, mad, and angry about how the Charlottesville Police Department is handling the case. The grieving mother claims an officer promised those involved in Shifflett’s murder would be indicted and charged by the end of April.
“I was told by the end of April everything would be in place, and a grand jury was selected that the people that involved with my son's murder would go up to be indicted,” said Bryant. “Now, I find out that that's not going to be happening because the evidence didn’t get sent where it was supposed to be.”
The investigations division commander, CPD Captain James Mooney, says those promises did not include a specific time frame.
A few details have been made public. Police have previously stated that a woman was inside the home with Shifflett at the time of the shooting. Mooney says they are seeking input from other agencies on certain evidence.
A suspect or person of interest has not been announced. Mooney says the investigation into Shifflett's murder is still active and ongoing:
"The investigation is still very much active and thus ongoing. Jay’s family has been dealing with this for some time and we can’t imagine their anguish and frustration. Jay would have been 35 years old today and our thoughts are with his family. Jay was a loving son, brother, and father and his absence has left a void in many lives.
We believe there are members of this community who have information about Jay’s murder that will help move this case forward and help find justice for Jay and his family. We encourage them to contact us immediately.
They may contact Detective Oberholzer of the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or if they wish to remain anonymous they may call Jefferson Area Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000."
Bryant says she is concerned about how Chief RaShall Brackney is handling cases of missing, or murdered people in Charlottesville, including Sage Smith.
Smith, then a teenager, vanished in 2012. Authorities have since reclassified the case as a homicide investigation.
“She [Brackney] should be behind that desk making sure that the detectives do their job and find my son's murderers, along with the others: Sage, Miss [Pherbia] Tinsley, and Sammy Houchens,” Bryant said.
Tinsley was found shot to death in her car on Prospect Avenue July 14, 2012. The Charlottesville Police Department acknowledges that the case has gone cold.
Samuel Lee Houchens was last seen at his home in the 1600 block of Meridian Street on June 20, 2018. According to his family, Houchens has mobility issues and uses a scooter to get around, which was still at the home.
“I know their families are suffering just like I am, and they want justice," said Bryant. She adds that she plans to keep pushing Charlottesville police to find her son's murderer.
Officers ask anyone who may have information to call Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct the title of James Mooney. Mooney is a captain, not a sergeant as originally reported. His statement was also added.