Court appoints private attorney for Farmville murder suspect

Richard McCroskey
Richard McCroskey

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

FARMVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Richard McCroskey faces several felony charges in the murder of pastor Mark Niederbrock, and more charges are expected.

McCroskey appeared by video teleconference at the Prince Edward County Courthouse in Farmville for that hearing. He was not brought over from the nearby jail.

The sole purpose was for a judge to appoint an attorney. Around 10 a.m. Judge Robert Woodson had to assign a private lawyer out of Richmond, instead of a public defender, because of the first degree murder charge.

The 20-year-old California man also faces grand larceny and robbery warrants, and just this morning, we also learned of an additional summons for driving without a license.

Right now, McCroskey is only charged in the murder of Niederbrock -- although we are told additional charges are expected relating to the other victims, believed to be Longwood University professor Debra Kelley, her daughter Emma and a friend.

The crime scene surrounding Kelley's home is still active -- we've seen state police, Prince Edward County sheriff's deputies and Farmville police detectives continue collecting evidence this morning. They tell us, their barricades will remain in place at least through this evening.

McCroskey remains behind bars at the Piedmont Regional Jail. The next scheduled court date is not until January 11, although his attorney can request a bond hearing before that date.

We will continue to look into this gruesome case... And how this small town is coping. We'll have much more for you on our evening newscasts.

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