Timeline of William Morva case

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – For those of you not familiar with the William Morva case, we're taking a look back at the events that unfolded the day he escaped from the hospital in Montgomery County in 2006.

The search for Morva dominated the news in August 2006. 

It was the first time a massive police presence had been seen in Blacksburg and on the campus of Virginia Tech.  It was a manhunt unlike any in recent memory after Morva overpowered a sheriff's deputy during a medical visit to the hospital, took his gun, then shot and killed security guard Derrick McFarland.


McFarland was described as a family man who was loved by co-workers.

But Morva escaped with a gun and was still a threat. Police evacuated portions of Virginia Tech's campus. 

The media was asked to broadcast his picture and description.


Then, during the search, the unthinkable happened. In the early-morning hours, Morva shot and killed Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Sutphin. 


"Ladies and gentlemen it's with great sorrow that I announce the death of Cpl. Eric A. Sutphin, of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Sutphin has been very diligent in the effort to apprehend William Morva, the suspect from the hospital shooting yesterday. However, this morning, at approximately 7 a.m., Deputy Sutphin encountered Morva on the Huckleberry Trail and was fatally shot," then-Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Witt announced at a news conference on Aug. 21, 2006.

The shooting caught the attention of the entire nation, with cable news channels reporting the story throughout the day.  Finally, when the arrest was made, they broke in with the news.

Morva was captured hiding in the weeds along the Huckleberry Trail, ending the manhunt and beginning of series of court appearances and trials leading to his conviction and death sentence in March 2008.

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