Man pleads guilty to killing woman, son and setting their Virginia Beach home on fire in 2004

Richard Stoner

Richard Stoner

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A man accused of killing a mother and son in 2004 in Virginia Beach has been found guilty on numerous charges, including capital murder, first-degree murder and arson.

Richard Eugene Stoner, 44, pleaded guilty to those charges in Virginia Beach Circuit Court Tuesday.

One charge, capital murder for hire, was amended to capital murder of multiple persons, according to court records.

The rest of the charges were not amended, court records show. Those charges include: two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, statutory burglary, four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy to commit capital murder, arson of a dwelling and torture of an animal causing its death.

Stoner is one of two men who were arrested in 2018 in connection with the deaths of Lois Schmidt and her 7-year-old son Jonathan Vetrano. Stoner was found in Indiana in June 2018 and subsequently arrested after police got a break in the case.

The case was cold with no arrests from 2004 to 2018.

Christopher Schmidt
Christopher Schmidt

Police responded to a home on Newcombe Road June 28, 2004 for a report of a gunshot wound. They arrived to find a wounded man outside the house and the home on fire.

Two victims, Lois Schmidt and her son, were also removed from the house. They later died from their injuries. The man who was found outside, Lois Schmidt’s brother, survived.

Lois Schmidt’s then-husband, Christopher Schmidt, was arrested in June in Florida, just days after Stoner’s arrest.

Schmidt’s trial is scheduled for March 16, 2020.

Stoner’s sentencing is scheduled for April 29, 2020.

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