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Tazewell County woman convicted in connection with Bland County slaying

Tazewell County woman convicted in connection with Bland County slaying

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Leslie Hackler

Leslie Hackler

A Tazewell County woman pleaded guilty last week to concealing a body that was found underneath her son’s Bland County trailer last summer.

Leslie Raquel Hackler, 49, was also convicted of an unrelated July 2, 2020, drug possession charge. An additional charge of conspiring to conceal a dead body was dropped.

Hackler was sentenced to serve six months in jail and will be on probation for three years after her release.

Indicted last September in Bland County Circuit Court, Hackler and her son, 26-year-old Justin Michael Hackler of Bastian, were charged in connection with the June 2020 slaying of 45-year-old David Allen Hayes of Gratton. Believed to have been killed with a small-caliber weapon, Hayes – Leslie Hackler’s boyfriend -- went missing in late June, and police found his body at Justin Hackler’s Rosebush Lane residence on July 10.

Before the discovery, Justin Hackler told two people he’d shot a black bear that was getting into his trash and buried it below his trailer, police said.

Charged with second-degree murder, using a firearm in commission of a felony, conspiring to conceal a body and concealing a body, Justin Hackler, who’s being held without bond, has a July 27 court hearing to consider the results of a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

Leslie Hackler, who’s being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin, is also awaiting trial in Tazewell County Circuit Court on a June 25, 2020, charge of selling or giving a firearm to a felon.

She’s scheduled to enter a plea on July 22.

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