Commonwealth Attorney: 2 plead guilty in fatal Wise County cemetery shooting

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Marshae Absher and Jarrod Hash

WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Two people involved in a fatal shooting at a Wise County cemetery in February 2020 pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday, September 15.

According to a release from Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp, Jarrod Hash, 40, pleaded guilty in Wise County Circuit Court to aggravated malicious wounding and reckless handling of a firearm resulting in serious injury.

Hash, of Norton, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 16 years suspended to run consecutively to a suspended sentence of five years for reckless handling of a firearm.

In total, Hash was sentenced to serve 25 years with 21 suspended.

The release says Hash is required to complete 20 years of probation and serve an active term of four years in prison.

Marshea Absher, 20, was also charged following the shooting.

Absher, also of Norton, pleaded no contest to abduction, conspiracy to abduct and conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding.

She was sentenced to 20 years with 16 suspended. Absher, of Norton, was also sentenced to another year in prison for a separate drug-related case.

In total, Absher was sentenced to serve five years and complete 20 years of probation.

The third person charged in the shooting, William Mills, is scheduled to appear on Thursday, September 17.

The charges stem from a shooting on February 2 in the Stephens Section of the county.

Authorities arrived at a cemetery on Limestone Road behind the Stephens Chapel Freewill Baptist Church.

Officers found Absher in a car with a gunshot wound in her back.

Officers also found Christopher Dale Stevens, 39, of Norton, dead near her car with multiple gunshot wounds.

The release says Mills was found in the woods nearby with multiple gunshot wounds.

An investigation reportedly found that Absher had deceived Mills and abducted him. She then drove him to the cemetery where she had planned for Hash and Stevens to attack him.

Hash admitted to shooting at Mills and hitting him several times. Mills survived, but Stevens was mortally wounded during the gunfire, according to the release.

“Unfortunately, Virginia law does not allow us to seek murder or manslaughter charges in this case.  Here, the evidence shows that Absher, Hash, and Stevens conspired to attack another individual and that criminal conspiracy resulted in the death of one of the co-conspirators,” Slemp said in the release. “Under the law of our Commonwealth, an individual cannot be convicted of accidentally killing any co-conspirator of an ongoing illegal act or scheme.  Our prayers are with the family of Mr. Stevens for their unimaginable loss and grief.  I pray that they take comfort in knowing that we did everything we could to hold the offenders accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hash and Absher are in the custody of the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail at Duffield as of Tuesday afternoon.

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