Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Brothers slain in Axton: Police keep focus on ‘follow-up’
Friday, July 25, 2014
From Bulletin staff reports
With two men behind bars in connection with the June slayings of two brothers in Axton, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office is focused on continuing its investigation and preparing the cases for court, Sheriff Lane Perry said Thursday.
“‘Follow-up’ is a pretty good word” for what is happening now, Perry said. “ ... It is possible that there could be more developments with the case or more arrests, but at this point, it’s now (focused on) making sure we have everything right and moving forward toward the prosecution.”
Perry announced last week that two men had been arrested in connection with the deaths of Noel and Alfonso Navarro-Pena. The brothers were found dead within a few hours of each other on June 27 and 28. Each had been shot in the head, police have said.
Perry has said he believes the motive was drug-related.
Jonathan “Johnny” Rivera-Olvera, 24, of 244 Clyde Prillaman Drive, and James Travis Moore, 33, of 71 Canterbury Lane, are being held without bond in connection with the slayings, Perry has said. Rivera-Olvera was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, while Moore was charged with one count each of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Although the case is not demanding as much manpower as it did shortly before last week’s arrests, officers are continuing the investigation, Perry said.
“It is still an actively worked case,” he said.
Both Moore and Rivera-Olvera were arraigned in Henry County General District Court, and a preliminary hearing for both has been scheduled Nov. 20, said Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester, who is handling the case.
Nester said both men asked to hire their own counsel, and neither had a lawyer as of Thursday. Rivera-Olvera is scheduled to appear in court July 31 to revisit the issue of representation, Nester added.
“The court has given them time to see if they can hire lawyers on their own,” he said.
According to previous Bulletin reports, a total of $2,028 in cash and other items were seized in a search of a truck registered to Alfonso Navarro-Pena. Items seized from a search of 211 Sugar Tree Drive, the home of the Navarro-Pena brothers, included $27,891 in cash; 25 pounds of purported marijuana; 2.6 ounces of purported cocaine; and numerous other items.
The sheriff has said the investigation is centering more around cocaine than marijuana. He said Thursday he remains optimistic that the case will have an effect on drug sales in the community.