Franklin County man sentenced to three life terms after 'unprovoked' murder of 'defenseless' man

Victim was in bathroom when he was shot and killed

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – A Franklin County man has been sentenced to three life terms for his role in the murder of an 18-year-old man last year, according to the Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney. 

Aaron Dean, 21, of Callaway will be in prison for life for the murder of Allyn Riddle, of Rocky Mount, in August 2017. The Commonwealth's Attorney says Dean and Riddle knew each other socially through school before the incident. 

Courtesy of Western Virginia Regional Jail
Courtesy of Western Virginia Regional Jail

Dean pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Riddle in July 2018. In addition to Dean's three life terms, he was also sentenced to 58 years on five other felony convictions. 

The Commonwealth Attorney says Riddle invited Dean inside his home on August 18, 2017.

When Riddle started to take a shower while getting ready for work, Dean got a sawed-off shotgun from his car, went back inside Riddle's home and shot Riddle while he was in the bathroom. Dean then stole guns found on the Riddle property. 

Riddle's father found him dead in the bathroom, and ran to a neighbor's house and asked for help, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney. 

Dean and John Hodges, 19, of Rocky Mount, were brought in for questioning. After the interrogation, police found evidence that led to both suspects being charged with second-degree murder.

During a taped interview, Dean admitted he planned to steal guns from Riddle's home for "vigilantism." 

The Commonwealth's Attorney says that Riddle was "defenseless, and the crime against him was completely unprovoked." 

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