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Multiple family members convicted as accessories for helping dad escape after murder

Clifford Wood murdered Sean Houchens in 2017

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. – A man who said he was "agitated" with his mistress sent her intimidating text messages. That's the beginning of a story that ended in murder.

Now, the man's wife, his son and his daughter's ex-boyfriend have been charged in connection with the 2017 crime.

A jury convicted Clifford Wood of first-degree murder in January for murdering Sean Houchens, a man who was allegedly at his mistress's house.

Louisa County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire announced Monday that Louisa County Circuit Court convicted Brandon Wood and Justin Peters as accessories after the fact to Houchens' murder.

Brandon Wood is Clifford Wood's son. Justin Peters is Clifford Wood's daughter's ex-boyfriend.

A Tennessee judge previously convicted Wendy Wood, Clifford Wood's wife, as an accessory after the fact to the murder, according to McGuire.

All three were involved in helping Clifford Wood escape, according to McGuire.

On Sept. 1, 2017, Clifford Wood went to his mistress's home with Brandon Wood and Peters, after sending his mistress "intimidating" text messages about "men currently at her residence," according to McGuire.

Clifford Wood confronted Sean Houchens, drew his Glock .45 and shot Houchens four times, according to McGuire.

Clifford Wood, Brandon Wood and Peters then fled the scene.

As he fled, Clifford Wood threw his phone and pistol into a cornfield in Hanover County and abandoned his car at a hotel in Doswell, Virginia, according to McGuire.

Clifford Wood ultimately fled to Tennessee with his wife's, Wendy Wood's, help.

He eluded arrest for 10 days before he was apprehended in Virginia, according to McGuire.

Brandon Wood, Justin Peters and Wendy Wood have now been convicted as accessories after the fact to the murder for their involvement in helping Clifford Wood escape.

There is no allegation that any of the other defendants knew Clifford Wood planned to kill Sean Houchens, according to McGuire.


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