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Witcher receives 18 years on murder conviction

Richard Earl Witcher Jr. of Gloucester, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Friday for the 2011 murder of Karen Kay Kelly. Witcher on Jan. 11 entered Alford pleas (admitting the evidence against him was sufficient for a conviction while not admitting his guilt) to second degree murder and using a firearm in its commission.

When she was killed, Kelly was living with Witcher’s uncle who was jailed for allegedly assaulting her. He was scheduled to be released the next day and Kelly was preparing to relocate to Northern Virginia prior to his returning home, according to testimony in Circuit Court of Gloucester. Her friend, Kathleen Hamilton, said she went to Kelly’s house on July 27 to pick up two turtles that she would be keeping for Kelly.

Instead, Hamilton discovered Kelly’s body and called police. "She was going to leave so she wouldn’t get hurt. She knew she was going to get killed," Hamilton testified. Kelly had sustained a gunshot wound that entered her...

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