ROANOKE, Va. - The 18-year-old man accused of killing three people on Bent Mountain appeared in court Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing. A judge ruled there was enough evidence for the case to be heard by a grand jury.
Jackie Rader came down from Knoxville, Tennessee to represent her godson Cole Kennedy in court.
"I can't imagine. My world has been turned upside down," said Jackie Rader.
Roanoke resident Trevor E. Charles is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Miranda B. Trump, 18, of Roanoke, Brandon D. Dekle, 20, of Bent Mountain, and Cole P. Kennedy, 20, of Bent Mountain. Charles is also charged with three counts of the use of a firearm in commission of a felony. The three victims, who all worked at the Bent Mountain Bistro, were found dead June 12.
Family and friends who were in court were very emotional after hearing for the first time what happened to their loved ones. During testimony, they heard how Trevor Charles admit to killing his friends with a shotgun because he heard a voice named "George' in his head.
"I don't understand why he did what he did. But I can't imagine being his mother either and someone knock on your door and say your son has committed a triple homicide," said Rader.
Amy Charles, the mother of Trevor Charles, took the stand as a witness to describe the time she spent with her son before and after the homicides.
She said Trevor seemed very indecisive and his thoughts were cluttered and seemed a little "off' on June 11 when the homicides occurred. She knew her son had a shotgun when she brought him back from Tennessee to live in Roanoke County and also mentioned that he has been treated before for some mental health issues. Two days before Miranda Trump, Brandon Dekle and Cole Kennedy were killed she dropped him off at the driveway of the home in Bent Mountain. She said she knew of Dekle and Kennedy but never met them.
Roanoke County police detectives also took the stand. They described how they got the initial call to look for Trump’s car and how they were called to the home on Bent Mountain Road, where they found the bodies of the three individuals.
They found Kennedy on the first floor of the Bent Mountain home. The bodies of Trump and Dekle were in an upstairs bedroom.
Those close to the young people want justice.
"It's pretty much out of our hands and I think we need to leave it up to the prosecution and whatever evidence comes about. For myself I pray for Trevor and his family," said Donna Joslyn, aunt of Brandon Dekle.
Rader say their lives were taken too soon. And Brandon and Cole had big plans for the future.
"They had dreams of starting a skateboard company. It was going to be called Flow-Eva," said Rader.
Two of the detectives went over the two times they questioned Charles about the homicides. Charles confessed to them he killed them and said he didn’t know why. He said he didn’t have any more friends left now that they were dead.
One detective said Charles said “the voice” in his head, who he named George, told him to do it. During the interview with detectives, he started crying and growling.
The autopsy reports stated that all three victims died from shotgun wounds to the head.
The judge ultimately decided that there is enough probable cause to move forward.
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