Man receives 3 life sentences for fatal Richlands robbery

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Barry Joe Coleman

TAZEWELL, Va. (WJHL) – A man who pleaded guilty to killing a woman during a 2015 robbery has been sentenced to three life sentences in prison.

Barry Joe Coleman, 41, pleaded guilty to capital murder, robbery, statutory burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, abduction, possession of Suboxone, animal cruelty, and other charges.

Prosecutors say on December 16, 2015, Coleman robbed the Flanary Storage on Kents Ridge Road in Richlands and killed an employee, 58-year-old Nancy Carolyn Smith, with a large hunting knife. He then stole a cash box and stabbed Smith’s small dog which survived the attack.

Nancy Carolyn Smith (Photo: Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office)

Coleman was arrested at a nearby home after the resident called police while he was in the bathroom attempting to shoot up Suboxone and while cleaning himself and the knife following the attack, according to investigators.

A judge sentenced Coleman to three life sentences without the possibility of parole plus an additional 28 years to run consecutively.

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