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Attempt at bond rejected in court

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Wesley Carlton Smith got an unsurprising answer Tuesday when he asked Judge John R. Stevens for a chance to get out of jail: “No.”

Smith, 22, of Stafford is one of four people charged with first-degree murder and robbery involving the brutal early Nov. 24 slaying of 28-year-old Rodney Beanum Jr. in the 1900 block of Howard Avenue in Fredericksburg.

Smith and his attorney, Tim Barbrow, briefly appeared before Stevens in Fredericksburg General District Court for a long-shot attempt at a bond. Even though there is a legal presumption of no bond under the charges facing Smith, Barbrow argued that he deserved consideration for bond.

Barbrow said that as far as he knows, the only evidence against Smith is the word of a co-defendant. He said Smith had no pending charges at the time of the slaying, has never failed to appear in court and is not a danger to the community.

Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins said Smith is clearly dangerous and was part of a group that fired 10 shots into Beanum’s head and back.

Stevens said he might reconsider the issue of bond following an upcoming preliminary hearing, but said he didn’t need any more evidence Tuesday to deny bond.

Smith is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail.

John E. Pegram II, 23; Lorenzo McKinley Jones, 19, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and Diontae Treon Washington, 22, of Richmond, are also charged in Beanum’s killing.

A preliminary hearing for all four is set for Feb. 13.

Police have not said what the motive was for the slaying. Court records indicate that the robbery involved someone at the scene other than Beanum.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404