Lynchburg mother finds closure after man pleads guilty to killing her son

Phineas Neville was shot, killed on July 2


LYNCHBURG, Va. – Alfreda Neville said she misses the phone calls she would get from her eldest son, Phineas. 

"He said, 'Mom I love you, I'm going to always love you.' He always wore a wig, and I said 'You take that ugly wig off.' He said, 'I still love you, Ma.' He gave me a hug and kissed me and I told him I loved him. That was July 1," Alfreda said. 

On July 2, police found the 28-year-old dead at the Virginian Apartments on Rivermont Avenue. Phineas Neville, also known as Ebony Morgan, identified as a man but dressed as a woman. Days after his death, police arrested 23-year-old Kenneth Kelley Jr. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. In court, 10 News learned, Kelley met with the victim to sell him drugs. During the process of the deal, the two got into a fight and Phineas was shot five times. 

"He will be going to prison for 20 years. He pleaded guilty as charged," Bethany Harrison, commonwealth attorney, said.

Seven months after her son's death, Alfreda said she will now sleep easier at night, and has found some closure in Kelley's sentencing.
"At least the young man said, 'I was sorry' I will forgive but I will never forget," Alfreda said.

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