Witnesses Testify about Murder Case, One Suspect Found Guilty

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG -- On Wednesday, Dallas Chaplin, a murder suspect, was in court.

Chaplin is charged with first degree murder of Ben Graessle. Police found Chaplin days after the deadly shooting, hiding out in a Staunton home.

The judge found another man, Givi Dudunia, guilty of three charges related to this case. Two of those charges are for helping Chaplin escape. Dudunia could face up to 12 months in jail for each charge or three years in jail. His lawyer said he will appeal.

Six witnesses took the stand. Some of them said that they saw Graessle and Chaplin argue. Witnesses said later Dudunia and Graessle got into a fight and minutes later, they said, they heard three gun shots. Some of the witnesses identified Chaplin as the person who pulled the trigger.

One witness said he left with Dudunia and Chaplin and went to Staunton. He said he heard Chaplin say on the phone, "He's dead."

An investigator, who took the stand, said Chaplin told him Graessle had a knife and he wanted to scare Graessle when he fired the shots. Investigators never found a knife.

Chaplin will face a grand jury on April 15th.

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