Charges upgraded against man accused of Waynesboro motel murder

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (May 13):

An Augusta County man is facing upgraded charges in the killing of a woman at the Royal Inn Motel in Waynesboro last month.

According to the Waynesboro Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, 42-year-old Shawn Preston Jones, of Stuarts Draft, is now charged with first degree murder.

Jones is accused of murdering 43-year-old Deborah Jean Allen in the early morning hours of April 6 at the motel. By the time police arrived around 9 a.m. in response to a report of someone injured, Allen was dead of blunt force trauma.

Jones was arrested later that morning after a single-vehicle crash on South Delphine Ave. sent him to the UVA Medical Center.

He was initially charged with second degree murder in Waynesboro Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, but that charge has since been dismissed.

Instead, he will face the Waynesboro Circuit Court on Wednesday, May 29, and then is expected to go to trial in late September for first degree murder.

In Virginia, first degree murder is punishable by 20 years in prison minimum to life in prison maximum.

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UPDATE (April 9):

A man has been arrested in connection to the death of a woman whose body was found at the Royal Inn Motel in Waynesboro this past weekend.

According to the Waynesboro Police Department, 43-year-old Deborah Jean Allen's death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

Officers were called to the motel at 9 a.m. on Saturday after receiving word that someone may have been injured there. When they arrived, Allen was already dead.

A little later that morning, 42-year-old Shawn Preston Jones, of Stuarts Draft, was involved in a single vehicle crash on South Delphine Ave. and transported to UVA Medical Center.

On Tuesday, Jones was taken into custody at the hospital and charged with second degree murder.

Jones is being held without bail at Middle River Regional Jail and will face a hearing in Waynesboro Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Thursday April 11, 2019 at 8:45 a.m.

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UPDATE (7:30 p.m.):

According to the Waynesboro Police Department, the woman found dead at the Royal Inn Motel Saturday morning has been identified as 43-year-old Deborah Jean Allen of Waynesboro.

Police say the body has been turned over the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Waynesboro Police continue to investigate.

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The Waynesboro Police Department is investigating a death at the Royal Inn Motel at 2112 W. Main Street.

According to a press release, officers responded to the hotel at 9:00 a.m. Saturday after receiving information that someone may have been injured at the motel.

Once at the motel, officers say they discovered the body of a 43-year-old woman and observed what they say appears to be evidence of trauma.

The identity of the victim has not yet been released by police. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Waynesboro Police Department at 540-942-6675.