Murderer to spend life in prison for killing elderly Colonial He - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Murderer to spend life in prison for killing elderly Colonial Heights couple

Joseph and Evelyn Bland (Credit: NBC12 File Photo) Joseph and Evelyn Bland (Credit: NBC12 File Photo)
Matthew Brady (Credit: NBC12 File Photo) Matthew Brady (Credit: NBC12 File Photo)
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) -

A Colonial Heights judge has sentenced a convicted murderer to two life sentences for the slayings of an elderly Colonial Heights couple.

Matthew Brady pleaded guilty over the summer to killing 84-year-old Joseph Bland and his 80-year-old wife, Evelyn, during a robbery at their home in January 2011. Brady was sentenced to one life sentence for each of the murders and 25 years for each of the robberies.

Brady was arrested by Colonial Heights police with the help of the Virginia State Police forensics team and several tips from the community a week after the couple was found dead in their home at 119 Conduit Road. The state medical examiner says Evelyn and Joseph Bland were each hit over the head several times

The murder of the couple, who had been married more than 50 years, shook the community. Joe founded the Namozine Volunteer Fire Department back in the 1950s and was a member of American Legion Post #284 for more than 30 years. Evelyn was a Major with the Petersburg Sheriff's Office. Some members set up a neighborhood watch after the murders to help ensure their safety.

Police say Brady lived in a home on Conduit Road, which is directly across the street from the Bland's home and say he knew the couple. Police say Brady stole the Bland's car along with several other items. The car was found three blocks from the home. 

The judge said he'd never see a murder case as savage and brutal as this. Sentencing guidelines recommended between 30 and 50 years in prison, but the judge decided Brady deserved life in prison instead.

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