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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Man is indicted in death

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Ridgeway man was indicted Tuesday on one count of first-degree murder in connection with the strangulation death of an elderly Ridgeway woman.

Arthur Gene McClard, 38, 287 King Air Ave., Ridgeway, also was indicted by grand jurors Tuesday in Henry County on one count of grand larceny in connection with the Sept. 2 death of Joyce Daily Mitchell, 74, of 270 King Air Ave., Ridgeway.

Initially, McClard was charged with robbery in connection with the incident. However, that charge was dropped during a November court hearing in which McClard waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Mitchell’s body was found inside her mobile home Sept. 3 when authorities responded to calls for a well being check, according to previous reports.

She had been strangled and her purse was missing, as was her 1998 burgundy Chrysler Concorde, which later was recovered on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to previous reports.

An affidavit filed in the Henry County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office stated that police were told that Mitchell was struck in the head with a 15-pound dumbbell after she was strangled.

Two dumbbells, Mitchell’s debit card, a plastic wrapper, checkbook, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can, calendar with red stains, yellow earring, a Pall Mall cigarette butt and newspapers were among the items recovered from areas in or around Mitchell’s home when a search warrant was executed, according to court documents.

Investigators also collected several items from her vehicle, including swabs from the steering wheel, driver’s side door handle and gear shift, a glass mug, pocketbook with a red stain and a bank envelope, according to court records.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt. It is a grand jury’s determination that there is enough evidence to hold a trial.


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