Buena Vista man convicted of killing his father, setting house on fire receives life sentence

BUENA VISTA, Va. – A Buena Vista man accused of killing his father and setting his house on fire in February 2022 received a life sentence on Friday.

In February 2022, Jonathan Patterson was arrested and charged with one felony count of murder and one felony count of arson in connection with the death of his father, retired Buena Vista Assistant Police Chief, Phillip “Jay” Patterson, as we reported.

Patterson’s trial came to an end in November 2022 when a 12-person jury found him guilty.

On June 16, 2023, Patterson went back to court for his sentencing. He was sentenced to serve a life sentence for a first-degree murder charge for killing his father.

Patterson was also sentenced to 20 years for arson with 10 years suspended.

Emotions were high in court after victims read statements sharing how their life has changed learning Patterson had killed his own father.

“This has completely broken me, as a person, I’m not the same mother-daughter sister friend I used to be,” sister Leslie Dowry said.

The victim of the crime, Jay Patterson, served the Buena Vista community for 32 years before he retired in 2014.

He also served an additional seven years with Virginia Military Institute Police Department in Lexington, earning the rank of Sergeant before he left the department in late 2021.

About the Authors

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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