Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Edward Eugene Snipes, 55, on the afternoon of Monday, October 12 in Galax, Virginia, and charged him with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury in connection with a pair of brutal attacks Sunday night off Tucker’s Trail in eastern Orange County, near Eno River State Park.
Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies responded Sunday night to an address on Tucker’s Trail off Craig Road. The resident at that address called 911, reporting a man arrived at his home around 10:40 pm seeking help for serious injuries he sustained after being stabbed.
Snipes, a longtime acquaintance of the victims, allegedly stabbed the victims at their residence Sunday night sometime around 10:30 pm. Lakota Franklin, 22, stabbed several times, was able to escape and run to a neighbor’s mobile home, bleeding heavily from multiple stab wounds. Emergency responders transported the man, who was bleeding heavily from several wounds, to the Duke University Emergency Room. Before being taken from the scene, the victim requested responding units check on his mother at their residence farther down Tuckers Trail.
When deputies arrived at the home of the injured man to check on Franklin’s mother, 54-year old Jennifer McFalls, they found her dead in the entryway to the home. She had also suffered multiple stab wounds, and there were obvious signs of a struggle.
She was lying face down in a large pool of blood and had no pulse. Medical personnel pronounced her deceased.
“This was a particularly brutal attack with obvious signs of a struggle,” according to Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “This was not a random act, however, and we do not feel there is an ongoing threat to the neighborhood or the surrounding community.”
“I am pleased we were able to make an arrest in this case so quickly,” Blackwood added in a follow-up statement after the suspect was apprehended. “We were able to develop information that Snipes may have traveled to Galax immediately after assaulting the victims. We issued a Be on the Lookout bulletin, and authorities in that area were able to locate, identify, and arrest Mr. Snipes this afternoon.”
Robbery appears to be the motive for the crimes. Blackwood said,
“There is still a great deal of work to be done in this case, but we are pleased Mr. Snipes is in custody. The timeline for Snipes’ return to Orange County depends on the extradition process. We appreciate the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, and The Galax Police Department.
The investigation is ongoing; more details will be released as they become available. Kyle Borland is the lead investigator. Anyone with any information is asked to call him at (919) 245-2915.