Man faces upgraded murder charge in Washington County, Va. homicide case


WASHINGTON COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – Washington County, Va. Sheriff Fred Newman has confirmed with News Channel 11 that a man, who is charged in a Southwest Virginia homicide case, now faces an upgraded murder charge.

According to Newman, he confirmed with the commonwealth’s attorney that James Joseph Canter III’s initial second-degree murder charge has been upgraded to first-degree murder.

Back in January, the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office said they found 23-year-old Ashleigh Langbein — a Texas native and recent Emory and Henry College graduate — dead from several gunshot wounds inside a home on Hillman Highway.

Newman told us that Canter’s charge was upgraded due to the number of times Langbein was shot and the various positions of where shots were fired from, two of which appeared to be contact wounds.

Canter was originally charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon without bond.

Newman would only say back in January that the victim and the suspect were acquaintances and would not speculate about a motive in the case.Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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