LANEXA, Va. (WWBT) — A suspect has been charged with second-degree murder after killing a 65-year-old Virginia man with a hammer.
Elmer Lee Stewart, 65, was found dead inside his New Kent residence on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
The New Kent Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Stewart was struck and killed with a hammer.
Medical aid was provided; however, Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene.
Stewart's body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond.
Michael Kidd, who was Stewart’s neighbor for over 25 years. says he will miss their daily conversations.
“My daughter was reading it on the internet and just told me about it when I pulled up from work, and I couldn’t believe it. It’s just sad,” said Kidd. “I won’t see that blue truck going by and that wave and his beard and just, Elmer. I’m just devastated.”
New Kent Sheriff Joe McLaughlin says he’s feeling that same sense of devastation because he’s known Stewart for most of his life.
“They called me, made me aware of who the victim was and the situation, and it struck home,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says he remembers Stewart not just as a lifelong friend, but as a business person and property owner who stuck his neck out for those in need.
“He owned mobile home parks, a store, some other rental property and he was always open to individuals who had hit hard times couldn’t meet their payments and he just continued to let them go until they got in better shape to make up the difference if they did,” said McLaughlin.
Michael Anthony Jenkins is currently charged with:
• 2nd-degree murder
• Two counts of grand larceny
• Two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
• Two counts of 3rd petit larceny charge in less than 10 years
Jenkins was taken into custody without incident and is being held at Henrico Jail East without bond. The sheriff’s office believes robbery may have been a motive.
McLaughlin says this murder is especially troubling because Jenkins had been helped by Stewart.
“The suspect knew Elmer Lee, and in fact, had been helped out by Mr. Stewart in a number of situations,” said McLaughlin. “I think unfortunately he had some inside information as to when money might be available from others coming to pay their rent, that type thing, and Jenkins took advantage of it."
Anyone with information on this crime, can call the New Kent Sheriff’s Office at 804-966-9500.