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Dryden man charged in fatal stabbing of Pennington Gap woman

Wes Bunch • Apr 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM

JONESVILLE — A Southwest Virginia man is facing murder charges after he allegedly stabbed a woman to death in her home Thursday afternoon, Lee County authorities said.

Wilma Stapleton, 45, 159 Derby Ave., Pennington Gap, was prounounced dead from her injuries Thursday evening at Lee Regional Medical Center.

Brandon Kendall Bledsoe, 33, of Dryden, has been charged by the Lee County Sheriff's Office with first-degree murder as a result of Stapleton's death.

Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons said authorities were alerted to the incident when Stapleton was transported by private vehicle to Lee Regional's emergency room, where she later died.

While at the emergency room, Lee County deputies were notified that another person at Stapleton's residence — who was later identified as Bledsoe — had reportedly slashed his wrist and throat.

The Pennington Gap Rescue Squad was dispatched to the Derby Avenue residence and transported Bledsoe to the Lee Regional emergency room for treatment. Bledsoe was later taken to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport.

Following an investigation of the stabbings, Lee County authorities obtained felony warrants for Bledsoe's arrest.

Authorities did not comment on a possible motive for the alleged stabbing.

Bledsoe was taken into custody by Kingsport Police before being transported to the City Jail.

Bledsoe is currently awaiting extradition to Lee County.

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