UPDATE: Grand Jury Charges W.Va. Teen in Family's Slaying

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 2/12/13 @ 10:50 a.m.
WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) -- A Doddridge County teenager accused of killing three family members has been indicted on murder charges.

The Associated Press reports that a grand jury handed up the indictments against 16-year-old Joseph Spencer on Monday.

Spencer is charged with fatally shooting his parents, 49-year-old Frederick Spencer and 47-year-old Dixie Spencer, and his 9-year-old sister, Patience Spencer on Sept. 3, 2012. The victims' bodies were found at their home outside West Union.

A judge transferred the teenager to adult status in October 2012.

UPDATE 10/4/12 @ 11:30 a.m.
WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) -- A Doddridge County teenager accused of killing his parents and sister will be charged as adult.

The Associated Press says Doddridge County Circuit Court Judge Jim Sweeney transferred 16-year-old Joseph S. Spencer to adult status on Wednesday. Prosecutor Brooke Fitzgerald requested the transfer.

Police say Spencer's parents, Frederick Spencer and Dixie Spencer, and his 9-year-old sister, Patience Spencer, were fatally shot at the family's home in West Union on Sept. 3.

UPDATE 9/8/12 @ 9:20 p.m.
SALEM, W.Va. (AP) -- Hundreds of people have attended a memorial service in Salem for three family members who were shot to death in Doddridge County.

A gymnasium on the Salem International University campus was packed for Saturday's service.

Salem International President John Luotto syas he hoped the university could help bring some peace to the family.

The shootings of Dixie Spencer, her husband Frederick and their 9-year-old daughter Patience occurred Monday evening at the family's home near West Union.

Doddridge County Sheriff's Deputy C.W. Modesitt has said a juvenile relative of the victims is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

UPDATE 9/6/12 @ 3:45 p.m.
SALEM, W.Va. (AP) -- A memorial service for three slain members of a Doddridge County family will be held Saturday at Salem International University.

Harbet Funeral Home says the service for 49-year-old Frederick A. Spencer III, his wife, 47-year-old Dixie Spencer, and their 9-year-old daughter, Patience, is set for 2 p.m. in the gymnasium on Salem's campus in Salem.

Police say the victims were fatally shot Monday evening at their home in West Union.

The Doddridge County Sheriff's Department says the suspect is a juvenile relative but is not releasing any more information.

Dixie Spencer and Frederick Spencer were graduates of Salem College, which is now Salem International. Dixie Spencer was a science teacher at Ritchie County Middle School. Frederick Spencer was a pilot for United Parcel Service.

UPDATE 9/5/12 @ 5:08 p.m.
WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) -- The Doddridge County Sheriff's Department says it won't release any more information about a triple homicide allegedly committed by a juvenile.

The shootings of Dixie Spencer, her husband Frederick and one of their daughters happened Monday evening near West Union.

Deputy C.W. Modesitt said Tuesday that the suspect was a relative who will be charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

But on Wednesday, he issued a statement saying any more information will be withheld because juveniles are involved in the case.

The county prosecutor's office also is refusing to discuss the shootings.

Ritchie County school board officials identified the victims.

Modesitt says State Police are helping the deputies "thoroughly and exhaustively" analyze evidence.

He says the privacy and peace of the surviving family members is law enforcement's main priority.

DODDRIDGE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A family murder has rocked a small community in the north central part of West Virginia.

Investigators are remaining tight-lipped 24 hours after a mother; father and daughter were shot and killed in Doddridge County. The son is now in custody facing triple murder charges.

The shootings happened about 6 p.m. Monday, about 2 miles outside the town of West Union. They took place at a home just off W.Va. Route 18.

As the word spread, neighbors in the small community of just 800 people could not believe what had happened.

“It happens to different people," resident Barry Carpenter said. "You just don't know when it's going to happen. It's something you see in other places and think it would never happen here, but it did.”

School officials confirm that Dixie Spencer is the mother who was killed. She was a science teacher at neighboring Ritchie County Middle School.

Both Ritchie and Doddridge County schools had relief counselors helping students on Tuesday.

Sources close to the victims say Dixie Spencer's husband and middle school-age daughter were the other two shot and killed. And we’re told the son in custody is a junior at Doddridge County High School.

There's no word yet on any motive.

The Spencer’s son is expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

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