Capital murder charges possible for suspect in Isle of Wight double murder

Kareem Mitchell faces a preliminary hearing in Isle of Wight on March 8, 2018. Prosecutors are expected to seek capital murder charges against him in connection to a double murder in Isle of Wight in September 2017.

ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Kareem Mitchell, Richard Holmes and Sharon Galvin were in court Thursday for their preliminary hearings in the case of a double murder in Isle of Wight.

Mitchell and Holmes are charged with murder. Galvin is charged with conspiracy.

The hearings are connected to the brutal murders of 80-year-old Nancy Starnes and her son, Kenneth.

They were found shot to death inside their home on Ennisdale Drive back in September.

All three of the hearings were continued, but the commonwealth’s attorney says she will seek capital murder against Mitchell at the grand jury hearing.

“It is a very big deal,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Georgette Phillips.

Phillips says she will be seeking capital murder charges, which means Kareem Mitchell could spend the rest of his life behind bars or face the death penalty.

Mitchell is currently charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but because of the circumstances, they are looking to heighten the charges to capital.

“In this case it would be the murder of two individuals in one occurrence as well as murder during the commission of a robbery,” says Phillips.

She says this doesn’t happen often.

“I have been in Isle of Wight, in this office for over 17 years, I’ve been the commonwealth’s attorney since 2015, and we have only sought capital charges one other time in my 17 years here,” she explained.

Phillips says the public defender’s office discovered they had a conflict in representing Mitchell, so they had to get out.

She explained the others’ attorneys agreed to continue their matters so they could all be heard on the same day.

Now the capital public defender’s office will work to represent Mitchell.

Phillips says Holmes won’t face the same capital charges, because he wasn’t the shooter.

Galvin has 13 additional charges, along with the first two from the double murder.

Those include obtaining money through false pretenses, and receiving or buying stolen goods.

The arraignment for those charges were continued Wednesday.