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Yuma woman accused of murdering husband, defiling corpse

April 13th, 2012 8:01 pm by Wes Bunch

Yuma woman accused of murdering husband, defiling corpse

MELISSA JUSTICE NAPIER

GATE CITY — Authorities released the identity Friday of a Yuma woman arrested on murder charges Thursday stemming from her alleged role in the death of her husband.


Melissa Justice Napier, 4812 Upper Possum Creek Road, Gate City, faces charges of felony first-degree murder and defiling a corpse in connection with a dead body that was discovered in her Yuma area residence Thursday.


Arrest warrants identified the deceased as her husband, Billy Ray Napier, 74, same address.


Melissa Napier, 40, turned herself over to the Virginia State Police Thursday evening.


“We’re still investigating the case and will continue to do that,” Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said. “At this point we’re satisfied with the charges and feel like the case can go forward. Right now that’s all I can say.”


Authorities declined to comment on a cause of death or possible motive in the case.


Billy Napier’s body was discovered about 5:10 a.m. Thursday at the Upper Possum Creek residence after state police received a report of a missing person the night before.


According to arrest warrants filed in Scott County General District Court, Billy Napier is believed to have been killed on March 20.


His body reportedly remained in the home until it was discovered by law enforcement.


Authorities said Melissa Napier had been living in another building on the property since her husband’s death.


VSP Special Agent Jason Jenkins, who is the lead investigator on the case, said the body is currently in Roanoke undergoing forensic examination.


Autopsy and toxicology results were still pending Friday afternoon, authorities said.


Melissa Napier is scheduled to appear in Scott County General District Court for arraignment Tuesday at 9 a.m.


She is currently being held without bond in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield.


The Scott County Sheriff’s Office assisted the VSP and Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in the investigation.

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