TAZEWELL, Va. (WJHL) — A jury has convicted a man for the 2017 murder of 21-year-old Kaitlyn Ann Toler.
After five hours of deliberation, a Tazewell County jury on Wednesday unanimously found Michael Wayne Pennington Jr., 46 of Bluefield, Va., guilty of all charges, including first-degree murder, according to the Tazewell County commonwealth’s attorney’s office.
Prosecutors say Pennington strangled Toler to death and hid her body in a cold garage for six days before discarding it on East River Mountain in Bluefield, Va. Her body was discovered the next day by two citizens who alerted police.
“I would like to thank all of the detectives and officers of the various agencies for the thousands of man hours and attention they have devoted to this case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Plaster. “Their professionalism and dedication to this case was more than evident at trial. While I cannot fathom the anguish Kaitlyn’s family has been forced to endure throughout this grueling process, I pray that the jury’s verdict will offer them some degree of closure and relief.”
In addition to first-degree murder, Pennington was also found guilty of concealing a dead body, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of larceny with intent to sell or distribute stolen property, credit card theft, credit card fraud, and receiving goods from credit card fraud.
Pennington faces up to life in prison plus 115 years, according to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 3.