Appomattox victims identified, police still disarming scene

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

APPOMATTOX, VA (WWBT) - State police released the names of the murder victims late this evening. They say 39-year-old Christopher Bryan Speight killed four adults, three teenagers and a four-year-old boy Tuesday.

Police released the following names of the victims: Ronald Scruggs II, 16, Emily Quarles, 15, Karen Quarles, 43 and Johnathan Quarles, 43. Also confirmed dead: Dwayne Sipe, 38, Laura-Lee Sipe, 38, as well as, Joshua Sipe, 4. The final name on the list, another teen: Morgan Dobyns, 15.  Police haven't released a motive.

The Associated Press is reporting that a friend, David Anderson, said that Speight feared being turned out of the house by his sister and brother-in-law. They were among the victims of the killing spree. Anderson co-owns a grocery store in Lynchburg where Speight sometimes worked as a security guard.

Into the night Wednesday, state troopers kept watch near Christopher Speight's home on Snapps Mill Road. The crime scene still posing a danger with explosive devices on the property. State police already detonated at least seven.

Because of the investigation, Appomattox schools will open two hours late Thursday for students. Teachers are asked to come at their regular time. The school superintendent is preparing for an impact on the school system by telling teachers what they need to know before students arrive.

In the meantime, more information has been discovered about Speight's background. The Appomattox County Circuit Court had five concealed permit applications on record for Speight, with the first granted in 1995. Speight was most recently granted a concealed weapons permit in January 2009. Court papers show a background check turned up no pending charges or convictions.

When Speight applied for the 1995 permit, Speight wrote a letter to the court stating firearms was his hobby, but needed a permit for his job. He wrote to the court that he was quote "not quick to anger" and "finds ways out of problems without using force or violence."

Additional court documents show Speight took several National Rifle Association sponsored classes including one that involved training with high powered rifles. Other papers show in 2003, he received firearms re-training from the Liberty University Police Department.

Crime scene technicians will return to Speight's home Thursday. At day's light, state police will continue detonating explosives at the house where children's toys are scattered on the front yard.

"Anything suspicious they're concerned with they want to make sure it's safe there are personnel assessing the scene and processing the information," said Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police.

The bodies were taken to the state medical examiner's office in Roanoke. Speight is being held without bond at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg. An arraignment date has not been set.

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