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Preliminary hearing delayed in Tannersville murder

Preliminary hearing delayed in Tannersville murder

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Tazewell, Va. – Failure to transport one of the three defendants delayed the preliminary hearing in a Tazewell County murder case Mar. 5.

Gabriel Peery, 38, of Tannersville and 21-year-old John Fields of Chilhowie are charged with murder and malicious wounding. The two are alleged to have killed 63-year-old Douglas French of Tannersville and they are also charged with the malicious wounding of a Thompson Valley resident last May.

Michelle Mathias, 54 of Tannersville is charged with accessory before the fact to second degree murder and possession of a sawed off shot gun. Mathias is alleged to be Peery’s girlfriend.

All three have been held without bond since they were arrested and were scheduled for a joint hearing in district court.  Shortly after court convened Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Plaster asked the judge for a few minutes to meet with defense attorneys.

After talking in the hallway the group asked Judge George Brittain if they could talk to him in chambers.  When they returned the matter was continued until Mar. 19.

Plaster said Peery was being held at the regional jail in Abingdon and no order had been issued to transport him to Tazewell.  He said the case should go forward as scheduled Mar. 19.

Tazewell County is scheduled to convene a session of grand jury Mar. 9.

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