The suspects told police they planned to rob a house and leave no witnesses.

A grand jury has indicted two Franklin County men in a 2017 slaying, charging one with capital murder and another with being an accessory to the crime.

Authorities arrested Aaron Seth Dean, 20, of Callaway and John Isaiah Hodges, 20, of Rocky Mount in the Aug. 19, 2017, killing of Allyn Gray Riddle, 18, of Rocky Mount.

The two men told investigators they were going "to carry out a plan to take some items from the house and to leave no witnesses," court documents stated.

Dean is charged with capital murder, armed burglary, breaking into a house with the intent to commit murder, possessing a sawed off gun in a crime, robbing a residence with a gun, using a firearm in a felonious crime, entering a residence with the intent to commit an armed burglary and larceny of a firearm.

Hodges is charged with being an accessory to capital murder, armed robbery, armed burglary, armed burglary and murder, breaking and entering and larceny of a firearm.

Both men were originally charged with second degree murder, which a General District Court judge certified during a preliminary hearing, but prosecutors elevated those charges once the case was presented to the grand jury.

During a preliminary hearing in Franklin County General District Court in March, investigator Holly Willoughby of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office took the stand as a witness.

She said that during Hodges’s questioning Aug. 19, he stated that he and Dean knew Riddle had a lot of guns and they were going to steal the weapons on a "mission to become vigilantes" and fight the drug cartel.

She said Hodges also stated the two men were going to kill Riddle so there would be no witnesses to the robbery.

Hodges told the investigator that he and Dean thought that Riddle would be asleep when they planned to steal the weapons. After finding Riddle awake, Hodges and Dean came up with a quick plan to kill Riddle, according to testimony.

The two men spoke with Riddle briefly before he got in the shower. While he was in the shower, Dean went to the car for gloves and a gun, Willoughby said.

Hodges went to an upstairs bedroom and signaled Dean from a window.

Dean walked to the bathroom where Riddle was showering and waited for him outside the door with the gun. When Riddle came out of the bathroom, he was surprised to see Dean and glanced down at the weapon. Dean then shot him, the investigator said.

Both men are being held at Virginia Western Regional Jail.

Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley declined to comment.

A jury trial is set for July 19.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.