Man pleads guilty in double-murder of Isle of Wight mother and son

Isle of Wight

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — An Isle of Wight County man pleaded guilty this morning for his part in a double-murder.

Richard Holmes, 19, and Kareem Mitchell, 29, were both charged with first-degree murder and other charges relating to the brutal murders of 80-year-old Nancy Starnes and her 58-year old-son Kenneth last September 23 in their Ennisdale Drive home.

Mitchell already pleaded guilty in connection with the double-murder. He was sentenced to two life terms in prison.

On Wednesday, Holmes avoided going to trial by taking a 32-year sentence recommendation as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He will be formally sentenced Feb. 5.

Mitchell admitted he kicked in Nancy and Kenneth Starnes’ front door. The motive was robbery. He went to Kenneth’s bedroom and shoot him. He heard Nancy calling out, went to her bedroom and he says he snapped and shot her too.

Holmes and Mitchell stole televisions, credit cards, guns and two cars, police said.

According to detectives, Holmes first admitted he was in the house at the time of the murders. Lt. Tommy Potter previously said during court hearing questioning that he asked Holmes, “Were you there when it happened?”  

Potter says Holmes shook his head in the affirmative then said “I didn’t have the stomach to shoot anyone.”

Holmes could be backing down from his claim that he shook his head “yes” to being there when it happened.

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