Powhatan suspect charged in separate incident

Dennis Merchant
Dennis Merchant
Rashad Brown
Rashad Brown

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - We've now learned the suspect in the deadly stabbing in Powhatan county had been in trouble with the law just two days before the homicide took place. The investigation revealed a third stabbing victim Friday who's expected to recover.

Suspect Dennis Merchant, Junior, now faces nine charges including second degree murder. He was arraigned on five of the charges Friday. Three stemmed from another incident earlier this week.

Moments after Christian Higuchi appeared in Powhatan court, he showed us cuts on his fist and a bite mark on his thumb.

Higuchi and Merchant are both charged with disorderly conduct apparently from the same incident on Tuesday, two days before Merchant was arrested and charged in the stabbing death of Rashad Brown, a friend of Higuchi's.

Two others were wounded in the deadly fight at a home on Bell road. One of those victims drove Brown to the post office on Anderson Highway looking for help. According to the Medical Examiner's office: Brown died of a stab wound to the chest.

"He never had a problem with anyone. He was always the friendly person; laughing, and smiling, and joking. Never harmed anybody. Never got in a fight with anybody," said Higuchi.

Authorities have not released a motive for Thursday's deadly fight. Brown was a friend of Higuchi and this is the second time in two years Higuchi has dealt with the loss of a friend.  Back in June 2008, Tahliek Taliaferro was shot and killed.

"Most of the parents say that they're more scared, in this time of day and age, more of the kids because it's been hectic and different from what they grew up living in," said Higuchi.

Merchant is being held without bond.  He'll be back in court on June 4 to set a preliminary hearing date and to appoint an attorney.

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