Court documents: Man reportedly tells investigators he strangled grandmother, broke phone so she couldn’t call for help


BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL)- A 72-year-old woman is dead after authorities said she was strangled by her own grandson.

That information is according to court documents News Channel 11 obtained Friday.

Those documents detail the events leading up to the arrest of Joshua Blake Smith, 31, after he reportedly murdered his own grandmother.

Police in Big Stone Gap first responded to a welfare check at a home on Albermarle Street East during the afternoon of August 27.

It was at that time when police found Smith outside of the home. When they asked Smith to speak to the owner of the home, Charlene Osborne, 72, Smith reportedly told authorities, “she was sick and couldn’t come to the door.”

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

Authorities reported in the court documents that Smith told an investigator with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office that he went to his grandmother’s home sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

According to court documents, “He stated that he strangled Ms. Smith. He broke her phone so that she could not call the police.”

Further details in those court documents revealed that Smith said he killed her 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.

According to court documents, Smith also reportedly admitted to an investigator that “at some point on 8/27/20 he asked another individual to ‘help get rid of the body.'”

Smith now faces several charges including:

  • 2nd-degree murder
  • Abduction
  • Interfere with a call to 911
  • Trespassing
  • Credit Card larceny
  • Credit Card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • Possession of a schedule III controlled substance
  • Solicitation of concealing a dead body

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