Two more people were convicted for their role in a 2017 murder in Louisa County.

On Monday, Brandon Wood and Justin Peters were found guilty of being accessories after the fact for helping the man who pulled the trigger flee the scene.

In January, a Louisa jury convicted Clifford Wood III of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. In September 2017, Wood drove to a home in the 1700 block of Jefferson Highway after becoming agitated with his mistresses. There, they say he confronted 32-year-old Sean Houchens and shot him four times before fleeing the scene.


08/19/2019 Press Release from Louisa County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Wood:

Louisa – Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire announced today that two more individuals have been convicted in relation to the September 1, 2017, murder of Sean Houchens in Louisa County.  The Louisa County Circuit Court has convicted Brandon Wood and Justin Peters as accessories after the fact to the murder of Houchens.  In January, a Louisa jury convicted Clifford “Peter” Wood, III, of 1st degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.  Further, a Tennessee judge had previously convicted Clifford Wood’s wife, Wendy Wood, of accessory after the fact to murder.  Peters is the former boyfriend of a daughter of Clifford Wood and Brandon is the son of Clifford Wood.  In speaking on today’s convictions, McGuire said: “crime does not pay, and it’s tragic that Clifford Wood took his own family down with him.  Two of his family members are now felons because of their actions in trying to help him avoid justice.”

The facts at Clifford Wood’s trial established that on September 1, 2017, Clifford Wood was agitated with his mistresses and sent her intimidating text messages about men currently at her residence. He went to the residence with others, including Brandon Wood and Justin Peters, at 1:40 a.m. on September 1, 2017, Once there, Clifford Wood confronted the victim, Sean Houchens, drew his Glock .45, and shot Houchens four times. Clifford Wood and the others fled the scene.  During his flight, Clifford Wood threw his phone and pistol into a cornfield in Hanover County and abandoned his car at a hotel in Doswell, Virginia.  He ultimately fled to Tennessee with the assistance of his wife Wendy.  He eluded capture for ten days before being located and apprehended in Virginia.  

Brandon Wood, Justin Peters, and Wendy Wood have now all been convicted as accessories after the fact to the murder for their involvement in helping Clifford Wood escape.  There is no allegation that any of the other defendants knew Clifford Wood planned to kill Sean Houchens.

On speaking on the conviction, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Wood (no relation to Clifford Wood) said: “a lot of agencies worked together to ensure that justice prevailed.  Many put in long hours to overcome the obstructions created by family members.”  The agencies that assisted in the investigation and prosecution of this case included the Louisa County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, Prince William County Police Department, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, United States Marshal’s Service, Central Virginia Regional Jail, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Department of Forensic Science, and the Carter County Tennessee District Attorney’s Office.