ETTRICK, VA (WWBT) – Authorities have made a break in the murder case of a Virginia State University student. Police said the man responsible is now behind bars. 24-year-old Deondray Maddox is charged with first degree murder in the death of VSU senior Daron Jack.
This is not the suspect's first run in with the law. This time around though police said he beat Daron Jack so badly during an argument, the VSU senior died from his injuries. The cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma to the head.
An apartment where Daron Jack's friends used to hang out frequently is now a crime scene. They laid flowers to mourn their loss, but can't believe the 23-year-old they describe as kind is gone.
"It's too much, like, is this real," asked Alexis Robinson. "It doesn't feel real."
Police said suspect Deondray Maddox was also a friend of the VSU senior, who was discovered with serious injuries in his apartment Monday night. He later died at VCU Medical Center. Now, there are more questions than answers.
"He was such a nice person that's why, it's like...why," said Brianna Coulter.
Why Jack and Maddox were fighting is something police will not tell us at this point. Nor do we know what the Petersburg man allegedly used to strike the fatal blow.
We did some digging and found out we featured Maddox on a Fugitive Friday this spring for the robbery of a local motel. He surrendered shortly after our story aired.
The 24-year-old has a lengthy criminal history and was on probation in Petersburg for a 2003 robbery. Police said they were able to make the arrest Tuesday night because of a violation of that probation.
Maddox was released from federal custody less than a week before allegedly murdering Daron Jack.
Alexis Robinson and Brianna Coulter saw Jack Sunday. They say he was a well-liked student athlete.
"I didn't know of anything, any problems with other people or anything so it was all just a big shock," said Robinson.
She now tears up at the site of the text message in which Jack asked her to hang out. It was sent the day he died.
"I just saw you," she said. "How are you gone?"
Maddox is being held in Petersburg jail and will be transferred to Chesterfield custody soon. A statement from Virginia State University said the counseling center is offering services to the entire university community.