Colonial Heights double murder suspect now faces death penalty - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Colonial Heights double murder suspect now faces death penalty

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) -

Matthew Brady will now face the death penalty when his trial begins next spring, the latest development in a gruesome 2011 Colonial Heights murder case.

Police found 84-year-old Joseph Bland and his 80-year-old wife, Evelyn, bludgeoned to death in their Conduit Road home. Matthew Brady faces two counts of capital murder for the killings, and has a trial by jury now scheduled for March 24, 2014.

"We filed our intent to seek the death penalty in April, and we learned this week that we could move forward," said Commonwealth Attorney William B. Bray in a phone interview Friday. "A judge denied the defense's motions to avoid that possibility."

According to the Commonwealth's notice of intent to seek the death penalty, the prosecution will seek to prove, "the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing, serious threat to society."

The Commonwealth Attorney also seeks to prove that Brady's acts were, "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that they involved torture, depravity of mind or an aggravated battery to the victim."

According to online court records, Brady's trial is currently scheduled to last 15 days. A hearing concerning DNA evidence is set for July 22.

"I just hope this move is what the family wants, and this brings them closer to justice" said a Conduit Road neighbor Friday. "It's still chilling thinking about what happened, and it's quiet here now, but not yet peaceful."

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