Bassett man charged with second-degree murder in death of Cory Thomas

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BASSETT (WSLS 10) - A Bassett man is charged in the murder of another Bassett man missing since 2010, according to the Henry County Sheriff.

Lavest Michael Whisenton, age 27, of Bassett, Virginia is being charged with second degree murder in the death of Cory Sharon Thomas, also of Bassett. Whisenton was indicted Monday, November 16.

Cory Sharon Thomas was reported missing by his mother, Carla Thomas, after he was last seen on October 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm. in Henry County.

At the time of his disappearance, warrants were still outstanding against Cory Sharon Thomas in reference to the homicide of Jason Lamont "BG" Miller. Jason Miller was reported missing on November 16, 2010. The next day, Miller's body was discovered in a shallow grave on Penrose Lane in Henry County. He had been missing for 28 days before being reported. The cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds.

Patrick Antonio Gilbert, age 34, of Bassett was later convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and conceal evidence in the death of Miller.

After Thomas went missing, the Chevrolet Blazer he was driving was found, abandoned, on Highway 220 in the Oak Level area of Henry County on November 1, 2010 by the Virginia State Police.

On March 2, 2011, decomposed human remains were discovered in a wooded area behind an abandoned residence at 330 Woodland Road in Bassett. The medical examiner used dental records to determine the human remains were that of Cory Sharon Thomas. His death was ruled a homicide. Thomas was beaten to death and his body was taken to Woodland Road.

Investigators believe drugs and the murder of Jason Miller were the motive for Cory Thomas' homicide.

Lavest Michael Whisenton is currently an inmate in the Virginia prison system on unrelated charges. He will be transferred back to Henry County for the indictment to be served.