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Man pleads guilty to Bent Mountain triple murder, receives multiple life sentences

Charles gunned down Miranda Trump, Brandon Dekle and Cole Kennedy in June 2018

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday morning to murdering three people on Bent Mountain last year.

In June 2018, Trevor Charles, who was 18 at the time, gunned down Miranda Trump, Brandon Dekle and Cole Kennedy. The three victims worked together at a restaurant. 

Trevor Charles pleaded guilty to all six counts against him and will serve three life sentences, plus 13 years.

He pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder, two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

During his 2018 interrogation, Charles refers to the victims as his "friends," and explains how coming down from a heroin high contributed to his actions.

Charles' attorney, Deborah Caldwell Bono, said it was her client's decision to enter into the plea agreement, "He wanted to spare the families the trauma of a trial and going through it as well as his own. That's what he wanted to do, do ahead and accept responsibility and spare them further anguish." 

"The families all expressed their desire for finality in this case and the agreement was entered in to with their acceptance and support," said acting Commonwealth's Attorney Aaron Lavinder

While a motive for Charles' actions wasn't revealed in court Monday, during a hearing in August 2018, Charles said a voice named 'George' told him to kill the three victims. 

Below is a statement from the families of Brandon Dekle, Cole Kennedy and Miranda Trump:

Our families would like to thank the Roanoke County Police Department, Roanoke County Fire & Rescue, Virginia State Police, and the Roanoke County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for working so diligently to provide closure and develop a plea that was healthy for our families and would guarantee that the defendant would never have the possibility of parole. 

We also thank the Bent Mountain community for their care and concern for Brandon, Cole and Miranda. 

Brandon, Cole and Miranda were all wonderful people. 

-Brandon's goofy antics and the way he shared his love for the world. 
-Cole's quick wit and the way he always helped others.
-Brandon and Cole were lifelong, inseparable friends and had such a passion for life that will live on in our memories.
-And Miranda's infectious smile, caring heart and love for everyone will always be with us. 

Our lives will never be the same and we will miss each of them every single day.

We will always be grateful for how hard everyone has worked to support our families and enable us to take our first steps in healing. 


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