James Michael Wright set to make second court appearance following 3 capital murder charges

The Mendota man charged with the capital murders of three women is scheduled to make his second appearance in Washington County Virginia court Tuesday, June 11 at 1 p.m. 

James Michael Wright is in jail without bond after he told police he accidentally shot and killed those three women. 

They were identified as Elizabeth Vanmeter, Athina Hopson and Joycelyn Alsup. 

Wright admitted to dumping Hopson’s body in the North Fork of the Holston River. He buried his other two victims in shallow graves, those remains have been recovered. 

The search continues for Hopson’s body, but Sheriff Fred Newman confirmed investigators have had to table the search for a few days as water levels of the river are too high. 

Wright was arraigned for those crimes in May, he is scheduled to appear in Juvenile and Domestic Relations court Tuesday. 

Commonwealth Attorney Josh Cumbow believes Wright’s counsel will ask for a full psychiatric examination in Tuesday’s hearing. Both the defense and prosecution are in the process of collecting evidence and building their cases before Wright is expected back in court in December. 

The charges brought against him include capital murder, use of a firearm and concealment of a dead body. He faces nine felony charges and the prosecution could choose to pursue the death penalty for Wright. 

As of Monday, June 10, police confirm there are no new leads in the investigation. Wright remains in jail without bond. 

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