The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Second man charged in Mayfield slaying, first suspect still at large
BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STARA second man has been charged in the early Nov. 24 slaying of Rodney Beanum Jr. in Fredericksburg, police say.
Wesley Carlton Smith, 22, of Stafford County was arrested in Stafford Wednesday evening and turned over to Fredericksburg detectives.
He faces charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery. He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.
Court records show that Smith was arraigned Thursday in Fredericksburg General District Court and a preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 2. Attorney Tim Barbrow is representing him.
His criminal record includes felony convictions in Stafford for malicious wounding, assault on a police officer and perjury.
Beanum, 28, was shot repeatedly in the head and body about 2:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Howard Avenue in the Mayfield subdivision. The motive for his slaying remains unclear.
Lorenzo McKinley Jones, 19, was previously charged with the same offenses as Smith, but has still not been apprehended.
City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said police are still seeking the public’s help in finding Jones, who has known ties to the Richmond and Washington areas.
Until releasing the news of Smith’s arrest Thursday, city police had given no indication that there was more than one murder suspect.
Bledsoe would not say if there might be others suspected in Beanum’s shooting. Witnesses reported hearing at least 10 shots.
Two other young men are facing misdemeanor obstruction charges in connection with the investigation.
Search warrants filed in Fredericksburg Circuit Court show that detectives have seized numerous items during the ongoing investigation, including cell phones and a 1986 BMW. Dozens of items were found in the vehicle, including fingerprints, clothing, jewelry, receipts, bullets and game systems.
Court records do not indicate how significant any of the seized items are to the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding Jones’ whereabouts is asked to call Detective Wayne Hunnicutt at 540/654-5743 or city police at 540/373-3122.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404