Family continues to wait for justice two years after abduction, murder
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It has been two years since a crime spree in Petersburg left two women dead and two families forever changed.
“As a family we’re no closer to where we were when this first happened, as far as a process, a trial being set, it’s difficult for us to move on with not having the closure and the justice,” said Tony Woodard.
In January 2017, his father, Pastor Alfred Woodard was abducted at gunpoint from the Petersburg home that he shared with his wife of more than 50 years. Police say Kristopher Jones forced Pastor Woodard to go to an ATM and withdraw money. Pastor Woodard was able to get away and get help, but Jones took off.
Pastor Woodard’s wife, Minnie later went missing. Her body was eventually found in Chesterfield. Jones girlfriend Janice Lugo was also found dead in her home, the same day Minnie Woodard went missing. Jones is charged with both murders.
“It’s time to set a date so we can put this behind us. It’s not fair, it’s not fair to us,” said Tony Woodard, Minnie Woodard’s son.
The Woodard’s daughter, Malisa Clement, says they have continued to wait on justice with little explanation. Clement says the family was told that Jones was not competent to stand trial, which has caused delays. Friday, they were notified that he was competent to stand trial, so they are hoping the case will move forward, but a trial date has yet to be set.
“There were other lives that were taken and it seems justice came swifter,” said Clement. “I don’t want my mom Minnie, and Janice Lugo’s voices not to be heard. I don’t want society to think they don’t matter and they are just another statistic - people need to know that our system knows that they matter."
The Woodard’s oldest daughter Angela Gay says the family is hurting, and they are longing for closure from a dark point for their entire family. Gay and her siblings says they want Woodard’s case to be a priority.
“We just don’t want this to happen to other families, to get lost in the system," said Gay. “We want the right thing to be done.”
There is a hearing scheduled for late February, the family is hoping that they will finally learn of a trial date at the hearing.
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