WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – The man accused of killing three women in Mendota, Virginia in 2019 will stand trial after he was determined to be competent.

James Michael Wright appeared in court Tuesday. Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow told News Channel 11 that Wright was determined to be competent to stand trial following a mental examination.

A jury trial had been scheduled for June 27 but has since been continued. Wright’s next court dates and trial dates have not yet been determined, according to Cumbow.

Wright’s competency was determined following a series of three evaluations after a previous motion was filed to determine Wright’s competency, sanity at the time of the alleged incidents and diminished capacity evaluation.

Investigators on the case have reported that Wright admitted to killing all three victims, all of whom were reported missing between Feb. 28 – March 17, 2019. Each of their bodies was found in wooded areas with gunshot wounds to their heads.

The victims were previously identified as Elizabeth Vanmeter, Joycelyn Alsup and Athina Hopson.

In 2021, a judge ruled that Wright’s case would advance to trial on the following charges:

  • 3 counts of aggravated murder
  • 3 counts of disposal of a body
  • 3 counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony