Second-degree murder charges against two Covington men have been certified to an Alleghany County Circuit Court grand jury.
The charges against Casey Shane Gillispie, 22, and Dustin Thomas McClear, 21, were certified Thursday by Alleghany County General District Court Judge J. Gregory Mooney.
The two have been charged in the December death of 71-year-old Joe Ray Rumfelt of Selma.
Rumfelt’s body was discovered by a relative Dec. 3 in the living room of his home in the 1400 block of Donovan Street. An autopsy concluded that he died of a gunshot wound and blunt, forced trauma.
McLear was arrested and charged with Rumfelt’s murder Dec. 7. Gillespie was taken into custody Dec. 9. Since their arrests, both have been held at the Alleghany Regional Jail in Covington without bond.
Testimony during Thursday’s preliminary hearing indicated that Rumfelt’s murder was a robbery gone awry.
McLear and Gillispie allegedly told Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office investigators that they originally planned to rob the Clifton Forge Pizza Hut Dec. 1., only to change their minds after noticing a number of vehicles parked at the restaurant.
“They decided that the Pizza Hut was too busy to take the chance because there were too many people,” Sgt. David Williams of the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office said during testimony Thursday.
With their plan to rob Pizza Hut foiled, they turned their attention to Rumfelt, whom they had sold antiques to just prior to Thanksgiving.
In statements to Williams following their arrests, McLear and Gillispie said their initial plan was to get Rumfelt to the door and rob him after striking him in the head.
“Casey said they were supposed to hit Mr. Rumfelt, take the money, and leave,” Williams said.
After their initial attempt to contact Rumfelt failed, they went back to the house a second time and gained entry and told Rumfelt they wanted to sell him a BB-gun.
Once inside the kitchen area of the house, Gillispie allegedly pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and demanded money from Rumfelt. Rumfelt refused to hand over money and chased Gillipsie into the living room. While in the living room, Gillispie allegedly shot Rumfelt and beat him three times with a dumbbell, weighing 15 to 20 pounds. That scenario is based on statements made by McLear to investigators.
The two suspects fled the scene, but returned a third time to steal items from Rumfelt’s house, including two guns. Both guns were later recovered by police.
McLear and Gillispie both face felony charges of buying or receiving stolen goods.