Fifth person convicted in connection to murder of Louisa man in 2017
LOUISA Co., Va. (WWBT) - The Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney said the fifth and final person has been convicted in connection to the murder of a man that happened in 2017.
On Friday, Stephen Phillips was convicted of an accessory after the fact to the murder of Sean Houchens on Sept. 1, 2021.
In 2019, a jury convicted Clifford “Peter” Wood, III, of the first-degree murder of Houchens.
Phillips was the former boyfriend of one of Wood’s daughters. Wood’s wife and son - Wendy and Brandon - were also convicted in the murder and another former boyfriend of one of the daughters.
“We are glad that Sean Houchens family now has closure as every person that assisted Clifford Wood, either before, during, or after the murder, has been held accountable. Most of Clifford Wood’s family are now felons. That fact will not bring Sean back, but we hope it sends the message that all individuals involved in violent crimes, whether they commit them or assist the perpetrator, will be held accountable,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said.
Prosecutors said that on Sept. 1, 2017, Wood was “agitated with his mistresses and sent her intimidating text messages about men at her residence.” Around 1:40 a.m., Wood, Brandon, Phillips, and another person drove the home.
“Clifford Wood confronted the victim, Sean Houchens, pulled out a .45 caliber Glock pistol, and shot Houchens four times. He and the others fled the scene, and Wood subsequently discarded his phone and the pistol in a cornfield in Hanover County,” a release said.
Officials said Wood abandoned his car at a hotel in Doswell. Everyone involved then ran away from Tennesse, managing to elude law enforcement for 10 days before being captured.
While Wood was convicted of Houchens’ murder and the others as accessories after the fact to the murder, prosecutors said there is no allegation that the others knew Wood planned to kill Houchens.
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