Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Abingdon, VA: Man says he shot his wife

Chassen R. Boies
Published: December 27, 2010


ABINGDON, Va. – He still had blood on his hands when he left his townhouse the day after Christmas and drove two miles to turn himself in at the Abingdon Police Department. The station door was locked, police said, but a funeral procession was passing by. Chassen R. Boies, 26, flagged down the officer leading it.

“I just shot my wife,” he said when a police officer asked about his blood-covered hands, according to Abingdon Police Chief Tony Sullivan.

When officers arrived at Boies’s Maiden Street townhouse about 4 p.m. Sunday, they found his wife, 24-year-old Rebecca Boies, shot dead.

The couple had a baby daughter, Sullivan said. He would not say whether the child was in the house at the time of the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. The child now is in the care of her grandmother.

No neighbors reported hearing the shot, Sullivan said. Less than an hour passed between the killing and when Boies arrived at the police department. He did not know why Boies drove to the station, rather than just calling 911.

“After you do something so horrible, I think maybe there comes a moment of conscious thought – ‘I’ve done something wrong and I need to turn myself in,’ ” Sullivan said.

On Sunday, Chassen Boies was charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Washington County General District Court was closed Monday due to the weather, so he has not yet been arraigned.

Sullivan would not say what incited the killing or if drugs or alcohol were involved.

He said the department is still “putting the pieces together” about the couple who lived a quiet life on Maiden Drive, a tidy development of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes near downtown Abingdon.

After a killing, particularly one domestic in nature, Sullivan said, the law enforcement community asks itself it there was anything it could have done differently – if there were signs of trouble brewing left unchecked.

“But these people weren’t on our radar,” he said. “We have no history with them.”

Officers had never before been to the home, for domestic fights or otherwise, Sullivan said. Neither of the pair shows up in court records, not even for a traffic ticket.

The incident is the latest in a string of violent domestic episodes in Washington County. Sometimes, like in the Boies case, there is no warning, Sullivan said. Sometimes, there is.

Less than two weeks ago, a 29-year-old woman was stabbed nearly to death with a 6-inch boning knife in her Glade Spring home. Her embattled husband, Johnny Dwayne Counts, 37, was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and breaking and entering with the intent to commit malicious wounding. Neither of the two had protective orders against the other, but police had been to their house several times and charged the wife, Vanessa Counts, with domestic assault.

After the Dec. 16 incident, Vanessa Counts was taken to the hospital in critical condition; she was released a week later. Johnny Counts is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon.

In early November, 61-year-old Jane “Dixie” Waters Boyles was kidnapped, then killed, by her ex-boyfriend, Johnny Anthony Catanzaro. Boyles had a series of protective orders against Catanzaro and Sullivan said that, for years, his department had been working with her, trying to coax her out of the violent relationship.

One week after her final protective order against him, Catanzaro showed up at Boyles’s elderly parents’ Chilhowie home, tied them up and held them captive for more than seven hours. Then he pulled out a gun and forced them to lure their daughter to their house. When she arrived, he ambushed her, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties and put her in his SUV. As Washington County deputies and Abingdon police officers tailed them, Catanzaro shot Boyles, then himself.

Sullivan doesn’t know if it’s due to cabin fever or alcohol or too much family togetherness, but he said the holidays tend to lead to violent domestic outbursts.

If you or a loved one is ready to leave a violent relationship, Bristol-based Abuse Alternatives operates a safe house and a 24-hour hot line at (423) 764-ABUSE.


(276) 645-2531

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