CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – LATEST:
A Georgia man is facing several charges in connection with a murder last month in Clifton Forge.
Kenneth Staples, of LaGrange, Georgia, is charged with second-degree murder and grand larceny in connection with the murder of 41-year-old William Brandon Wright on April 27, according to Clifton Forge Police Chief Chad Wickline.
Clifton Forge police first identified Staples as a person of interest wanted for questioning in connection with their investigation. They believed he was out of state and driving a vehicle that belonged to Wright.
Staples was arrested in Georgia on April 28.
Staples is being held at Alleghany Regional Jail without bond.
UPDATE: Tuesday (4/28) at 12:28 p.m.
The man defined as a person of interest by the Clifton Forge Police Department in Monday night’s suspicious death is now in custody in Georgia.
At about 11:26 a.m., an investigator with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office saw the vehicle Kenneth Staples was believed to be driving, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
With help from the LaGrange Police Department, authorities initiated a traffic stop in the 400 block of New Franklin Road and took Staples into custody.
Staples was arrested on a grand larceny charge and will be held awaiting extradition and questioning by Georgia authorities, according to the Clifton Forge Police Department.
On Tuesday, one neighbor who lives on the street where Staples was staying with Brandon Wright said he was a very sweet young man and was heartbroken when she found out he was dead.
“Brandon did not deserve this. Brandon was a very sweet young man," the neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said. "None of us realized who it was until they brought him out yesterday. My mind is not able to comprehend this right now.”
Another neighbor recently played chess with Staples and said Staples seemed like a nice guy.
He said Wright went to Alabama for Easter and when he came back Staples was with him.
A third neighbor, who also did not want to be identified, shared video of odd behavior she claims to have seen from Staples.
The video, she said, shows Staples beating a punching bag with a baseball bat.
The neighbor also recalled seeing Staples mowing in the rain and intentionally leaving the lawnmower running all day, saying when it ran out of gas he would put more in and restart the mower.
“Last week when I took my dogs out, I actually carried mace outside with me. It just made me feel really uneasy. He was really showing more temper as each day went by," the neighbor said.
She thought about reporting Staples’ behavior to police, but thought police might not be able to do anything since Staples didn’t appear to be breaking any laws.
What led to Wright’s death and how, exactly, he died was still unclear Tuesday.
Kenneth Staples, who is wanted for questioning in a Virginia homicide case, was just arrested in Troup County.Posted by The LaGrange Daily News on Tuesday, April 28, 2020
He is now in the Troup County Jail in Georgia.
UPDATE: Tuesday at 10:24 a.m.
The Clifton Forge Police Department released the name of the 41-year-old Clifton Forge man who died on Monday night.
Officers found were doing a well-being check on William Brandon Wright when they found him dead at 907 Jefferson Avenue.
Authorities are still searching for Kenneth Staples, of LaGrange, Georgia, who they have classified as a person of interest in the suspicious death investigation.
Police are looking for a person of interest after a suspicious death in Clifton Forge on Monday.
Around 1:30 p.m., officers went to 907 Jefferson Ave for a well-being check, according to Clifton Forge Police Chief Chad Wickline.
“Officers spotted a male on the floor through the window, at that time officers made forcible entry into the residence to locate a male unresponsive with apparent head trauma," Wickline said
Police say 41-year-old Kenneth Staples, of Lagrange, Georgia, is a person of interest and wanted for questioning in connection with their investigation. They think he’s out of state and driving a vehicle that belongs to the person who was found dead on Jefferson Ave, authorities said.
Staples is wanted for grand larceny. He could be headed to or already in Georgia in a white Ford F-150 crew cab truck with Alabama plates ’43KM137′, according to First Sgt. Anthony Nicely with Virginia State Police. Nicely said Staples stopped at a gas station in South Carolina around 3:30 p.m. Monday.
Staples asked someone at the gas station to use their phone, and was allegedly trying to get gas money to get to Georgia, according to Nicely.
Police believe this is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the community at this time.
Authorities have not released the name of the deceased as they are still notifying family who live out of state.
The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office and Clifton Police Department are collaborating with Virginia State Police on this case. Local authorities are also working with Georgia State Patrol.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office at 540-965-1770, ext 1 and ask to speak to Investigator Ledford with the Clifton Forge Police Department.