Court Documents: Red Onion State Prison inmate charged with capital murder of cellmate

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WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A Red Onion State Prison inmate has been charged with capital murder after allegedly killing his cellmate.

According to court documents provided by Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, Rodney Jones is accused of killing his cellmate, Antonio A. Jarrett, on July 3, 2020.

A Wise County Grand Jury returned an indictment on February 17, 2021 charging Jones with capital murder.

A summary of the charge within the indictment states, “Rodney Jones did unlawfully and feloniously commit capital murder by willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation kill Antonio A Jarrett, while said defendant was a prisoner confined in a state or local correctional facility.”

Slemp told News Channel 11 that capital murder is currently the only crime in Virginia that carries the possibility of the death penalty, but the Virginia Assembly has passed legislation to abolish that punishment beginning July 1. Therefore, Slemp said his office will not seek the death penalty against Jones.

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