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Death penalty may be sought for Joyner

Published 4:45pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012


ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall said Commonwealth Attorney Wayne Farmer may seek the death penalty against Joseph “Jay” Joyner Jr. for allegedly murdering his father and stepmother.

Marshall referred the matter to Farmer, who did not return repeated phone calls to The Tidewater News.

Marshall made the statement after Joyner, 37, on Monday waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for allegedly shooting Joe Joyner, 62, in the back of his head with a shotgun and beating Sandra Joyner, 58, to death on April 26.

Their bodies were found the next day at their Walters Highway home.

While investigators have not given a motive for the killings, friends of the victims have indicated it was over money.

By waiving the hearing, Joyner agreed there is enough evidence for the case to continue in circuit court.

A grand jury will hear the case on Friday, Nov. 9.

“He said he’s not involved,” said Virginia Beach attorney Sonny Stallings, who represents Joyner.

Stallings also said the death penalty could be an option, assuming charges are upgraded to capital murder. Joyner currently faces two counts of first-degree murder and life in prison.

During a July bond hearing, Stallings argued the case against Joyner was quite weak.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer disagreed, saying Joyner could flee to Louisiana, where his wife and children live.

Joyner is being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk.

  • jewelsales1

    I personally do not understand the justice system sometimes as I think they drag the cases out just to obtain the “bucks” and try to impress the outsiders of
    wanting to give them an extra chance as stating they went off the deep-end, but they or he or whomever knew exactly what they were doing at that time. Here are two deaths
    very uncall for, but he has an attorney representing him and placing him in a position as he continues to get a chance of survival. He should be put down just like he did his Father and Step-Mother and end it right now!
    I know how it was to live the 17 yrs of misery for the Smith Family with an instant taken away Husband, Father and Employee’s Boss as he was a fine Christian Man and Provider. Having to live in fear the whole 17 yrs as not knowing how many times he would escape from prison and come after you as you were a wittness. These guys are out
    here for one-thing (revenge) they cannot accept you working hard and trying to provide for family, all they want is a (HAND-OUT) they do not want to work for it. So please Attorneys & Jurors don’t allow this sorry dead beat individual to escape and get away on good behavior as if he did not kill his Great Family and what a Tradegy
    to the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
    I am a kind person, but cannot accept these type murderers
    trying to escape from their wrong doings.

    Suggest Removal

  • erw2997

    Death penalty sounds like a good punishment, he will have best of both punishments,sit on death row for a few years and think about such a terrible crime plus think about his death penalty!! such a sad and terrible crime

    Suggest Removal

  • Sunshine

    Would the death penalty be too quick and easy for Jay? Sorry, but I want him to have plenty of time to think about what he did to Joe and our precious Sandy. Time to think about his children and wife and what this has done to their lives. On the other hand, I don’t want one penny of my tax dollars going to even one slice of bread for Jay. Both of us need your prayers.

    Suggest Removal

  • Dakota01
  • Makalani

    In death penalty cases — the Commonwealth has to try and cross every legal “T” and dot every legal “I” before executing someone. Good defense attorneys are mindful of lapses in these complex proceedings and make them the basis for appeals.

    Consequently — after conviction — many capital cases are often fraught with seemingly interminable delays and appeals. Justice for victims as well as closure for victims’ families is delayed. Taxpayers foot enormous legal bills for appeals.

    Willie Lloyd Turner’s capital murder case in Southampton County dragged on for 17 years. He was arrested in 1978 for the murder of a Franklin businessman but wasn’t executed until 1995.

    However — with a mountain of evidence pointing toward guilt and public outrage — infamous D.C. sniper — John Muhammad’s capital case was “fast-tracked!” He was tried — convicted and executed in VA in Nov 2009 — only 7 years after his October 2002 arrest.

    Oftentimes prosecutors confer with victims’ families to ascertain if there’s a willingness to endure long — drawn-out death penalty cases. If families are OK with it — despite enormous legal costs and delays — the legal system owes them justice.

    Hopefully — if the death penalty is pursued — this trial will result in conviction and the appeals process will the “fast-tracked-Muhummad-type.”

    Some cases cry out for capital punishment — others scream!
    Mr. Joyner’s ALLEGED despicable — cowardly — double murder of two people who loved and trusted him screams out for justice by lethal injection.

    Suggest Removal

    • Debbie O

      Amen!! This was a terrible act of murder and there is no other conclusion BUT the death penalty.

      Suggest Removal

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