|Kirby DeHart paroled in 2001 in slaying of 81-year-old Endicott woman in 1991|
Monday, September 3, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Former Franklin County resident Kirby C. DeHart, a convicted murderer, was arrested in Floyd County Thursday on a misdemeanor warrant in connection with a domestic incident, according to Cliff Hapgood, retired Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney.
Hapgood, who is working as a prosecutor in Floyd County, said Friday he did not know what the alleged incident involved because the warrant was issued by Pulaski County law enforcement, where DeHart is now living.
DeHart, 50, was convicted in Franklin County Circuit Court in 1992 for the murder of 81-year-old Effie Rakes at her home in Endicott in 1991. Rakes was fatally shot by DeHart when Rakes caught DeHart molesting her invalid daughter.
Earlier accounts of the trial in The Franklin News-Post said that DeHart's fingerprints and a palm print were found inside the house. Prosecutors said DeHart gained access to the house by climbing through a window.
Hapgood said the jury in the case found DeHart guilty of second-degree murder on July 31, 1992. DeHart was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
The verdict, however, was overturned on an appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals in 1994. The appellate court said DeHart's rights were violated because there was not proof of 20 impartial jurors.
In 1996, DeHart was given a new trial that was held in Pittsylvania County. The jury in the trial also found DeHart guilty of second-degree murder and recommended a sentence of 17 years, Hapgood said.
"The sentence was 10 years less than he (DeHart) received in the first trial, and I think it should have been a lot more," Hapgood said.
In 2001, DeHart was released on parole.
DeHart was sent back to prison in 2005 for a probation violation after he was caught driving under the influence in January 2004. He was released in 2008.