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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Murder charge sent to grand jury
Philip Kingery is accused of shooting his wife
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Philip Kingery (right) sits next to his attorney, Tony Anderson, during Kingery's preliminary hearing Wednesday. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)

Friday, December 18, 2009

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

Charges against a Hardy man accused of killing his wife were certified to a grand jury Wednesday in a Franklin County court.

Philip Allan Kingery, 48, is charged with murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting death of Rose Kingery, 52, last summer.

Virginia State Police Special Agent Kevin Harth testified during the preliminary hearing that during a search of Kingery's home and property on July 17, Rose Kingery's body was found in a large, black barrel inside a shed. The shed was on adjoining property, owned by Philip Kingery's father on Cooper's Cove Road.

Harth said Rose Kingery's death had not been recent.

"She was badly decomposed," he said.

Two .380 caliber cartridge casings were found on a driveway leading to the shed, Harth said. And Philip Kingery's daughter, Ashleigh Kester, testified that her father owned a .380 caliber handgun. However, the murder weapon has not been found.

Philip and Rose Kingery were reported missing on July 13 when they did not return to work after the July 4 holiday.

Jesse Fifer, who lives across the road from the couple, testified Wednesday that on the afternoon of June 29 he heard two gunshots and a woman scream and then another gunshot.

On that same afternoon, Fifer said he heard a vehicle leave the Kingery residence, but he couldn't see the vehicle because leaves blocked his view.

Other witnesses during the hearing included Philip Kingery's father and Chris Tardy, a co-worker of Philip Kingery at Yokohama Tire Corp. in Salem.

Tardy testified that Philip Kingery had told him about another woman he was seeing. He said Philip Kingery met a woman named "Susie" through online classes he was taking from the University of Phoenix. Philip Kingery told him about visits with the woman, Tardy added.

Kester testified that she had spoken to her mother on June 23. And on June 29, she received a text message from her mother's cell phone that said she and Philip Kingery were going to Wilmington, N.C., and would be back July 4. The text message also said they were turning off their phones, Kester added.

During a nationwide manhunt for Philip Kingery that lasted more than a week, Harth said the state police had traced him through several states by use of his credits cards. Philip Kingery had used the credits cards in Indiana, Wisconsin, Wyoming, California, Colorado and in St. Louis.

Philip Kingery turned himself in to a police officer in a coffee shop around 9 a.m. in St. Louis County, Mo., on July 25. His white, Ford pickup truck was found in a parking lot near the coffee shop.

Harth said when Philip Kingery surrendered, Rose Kingery's cell phone and other belongings were found in his truck.

The grand jury, which meets Jan. 4, will determine if the evidence is sufficient to indict Kingery on the charges.

 
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