ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) – A man’s body was already in the funeral parlor when investigators in Isle of Wight County realized he was likely shot to death, according to court records.
Stephen William March’s mother discovered him dead inside his Carrsville home on April 21 when he didn’t come to her house that day as planned. She noticed there was a key in the door when she arrived, court records state.
Police arrived at the home for a possible death from cardiac arrest and found March laying on his bed with a CPAP machine laying beside him. He had blood and foam coming from his mouth, according to court records.
It was three days later that investigators found a shell casing next to March’s bed – but the man didn’t own a gun. His body was already at a funeral parlor when an investigator found that he had a gunshot wound under his chin. An autopsy was done on April 25, and the medical examiner discovered March had two gunshot wounds to his body, court records show.
The cause and manner of March’s death was deemed suspicious, and it was determined he died of gunshot wounds from a small-caliber weapon. Investigators ruled out suicide as the cause of death, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators spoke with the manager of the ABC store in Franklin where March worked. The store manager said Mark Honaker, 74, had come into the store and asked questions about March on several occasions beginning in June 2022.
Honaker allegedly visited the store again on March 28 and spoke with the store manager because he believed March was having an affair with his wife – so much so that he’d hired a private investigator to look into it, according to court records.
The store manager spoke with March on the phone on March 28, and he said Honaker had confronted him at his house, court records state.
Police continued to investigate and found a license plate reader on Ruritan Road captured what they believe is Honaker’s Lexus entering into Isle of Wight County on Carrsville Highway on April 20. The location of the license plate reader was about two miles from March’s home, and investigators determined it was the only time that car was captured coming into the county in the past 20 days, court records show.
Police spoke with Honaker’s wife – she denied an affair or knowing March, but said she knew her husband was suspicious. She told police she wasn’t home on April 20, and her husband hadn’t mentioned going out, according to court records.
Police also interviewed Honaker, who at first said he only knew March in passing, but later admitted he believed he was having an affair with his wife. He also admitted to knowing where March lived and that he’d been to both his home and the ABC store he worked at. He denied going to March’s home on April 20, court records state.
Police searched Honaker’s home and found several guns and ammunition that matched the shell casing left in March’s bedroom. Police also found a journal entry written by Honaker that said he knew who the “other man” was and thought about killing him. He allegedly wrote he would “shoot this man and he would drop like a rock.”
Honaker was charged with second-degree murder, breaking and entering and use of a firearm. He was taken into custody and is being held without bond at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail. Honaker is scheduled to appear in Isle of Wight General District Court on July 20.