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December 23, 2008

A cappella singer slain

Harrisonburg Daily News Record (VA):

As police arrested a juvenile who they say killed a James Madison University student and his mother in their Dale City home on Friday, James Smith's friends continued to mourn the loss of the popular member of the collegiate a cappella group Exit 245. Police say they suspect the slayings came in the midst of an attempted burglary.

Matthew Beck, a 22-year-old senior at JMU who sang with Smith in Exit 245, said the circumstances of the killings were especially disturbing given the randomness of the crimes. "It's completely unnecessary and selfish," Beck said. "It was completely preventable. That's the worst part."

On Monday, the News & Messenger newspaper of Prince William County reported police arrested a 17-year-old Hylton High School student and his girlfriend in connection with the slayings. Detectives arrested Xavier Pinckney of Dale City around midnight Monday, three days after Jean Smith, 39, and her son James Smith, 19, were slain in their home during an attempted burglary.

Pinckney has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, burglary, robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Prince William County police Maj. Ray Colgan said. His girlfriend, Jacqueline Munoz, 22, has been charged with obstruction of justice and being an accessory after the fact for allegedly providing him an alibi, police said. Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said he is seeking to have the murder charges against Pinckney upgraded to capital murder. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at December 23, 2008 11:38 PM

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