Big Stone Gap man indicted on murder, abduction charges in death of his grandmother

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WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL)- A man charged in the death of his grandmother has been indicted by a Wise County Grand Jury.

In a release, Wednesday Slemp said “the Wise County Grand Jury returned two indictments today against Joshua Blake Smith, age 32 of Big Stone Gap.”

Smith, 32, was indicted on the following charges:

  • first-degree murder
  • abduction
  • strangulation
  • credit card theft
  • unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • solicit another to dispose of a corpse
  • assault and battery of a law enforcement officer
  • credit card fraud
  • identity theft
  • two counts of trespassing

In August, authorities responded to a home on Albermarle Street East for a welfare check at the home of 72-year-old Charlene Osborne.

It was at that time when police found Smith outside of the home. When they asked Smith to speak to Osborne, Smith reportedly told authorities, “she was sick and couldn’t come to the door.”

According to court documents, when authorities went into the home they found, “bed covering and pillow on the floor that appeared to be covered in blood.”

Further details in those court documents revealed that Smith said he killed Osborne, his grandmother, using a knife.

Smith told authorities he took her debit card and her keys after she was dead and drove to “several locations in Wise County and in the City of Norton” where he purchased a phone and clothing.

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