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Three charged in Amherst County homicide, including former Longwood police officer

UPDATE

10 News is learning more about the arrests made in the Jan. 2023 homicide in Amherst County.

We received a tip that David Chester Christian of Prospect was employed at Longwood as a law enforcement officer at the time. Longwood University responded, issuing the following statement:

ORIGINAL STORY

Three people are now in custody in connection with an Amherst County homicide that happened back in January, according to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested 44-year-old Joseph Frank Cunningham, of Buckingham, 19-year-old Summer Brooke Cunningham, also from Buckingham, and 33-year-old David Chester Christian, of Prospect.

At this time, the sheriff’s office has not identified the victim in this case; however, this incident occurred on the same day 49-year-old Kevin Hartless, of Amherst County, was found dead in a remote area of the George Washington National Forest.

Cunningham was detained at the scene and was later charged with voluntary manslaughter on Jan. 20. While authorities have not yet confirmed whether or not the three were arrested in the death of Hartless, we’re working for you to learn more.

Here’s a breakdown of their charges:

Joseph:

  • 1st-degree murder
  • Felony homicide
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Abduction, two counts
  • Conspiracy to commit an abduction

Summer:

  • Felony homicide
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Abduction, two counts
  • Conspiracy to commit and abduction

Christian:

  • Felony homicide
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Abduction, two counts
  • Conspiracy to commit an abduction

The arrests were made thanks to assistance from the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office, the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office, and the Central Virginia Drug and Gang Task Force.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Captain Clay Thompson with the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office at 434-946-9373 or call Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 888-798-5900. An anonymous tip can also be made online using htpp://p3tips.com or by downloading the P3 app on any mobile device.


Source: WSLS News 10

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