Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wythe Co. manhunt suspect Jaccard faces 13 felony charges

Douglas Albert Jaccard was arraigned on charges stemming from Tuesday's shootings.





WYTHEVILLE -- A Barren Springs man accused of fatally shooting one neighbor and attempting to kill two sheriff's deputies and a teenager was arraigned Friday in Wythe County General District Court.

Douglas Albert Jaccard, 58, appeared via video camera from the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin before General District Court Judge J.D. Bolt.

Speaking through a courthouse Web camera, Bolt read out the 13 felony charges brought against Jaccard in connection with Tuesday's shooting spree on Dyer Road.

Jaccard responded calmly to the judge's questions. At one point, Bolt asked Jaccard if he had any objections to a change in the wording of one of the charges. He answered, "I don't know the ramifications of not objecting."

Jaccard was captured Thursday night after a three-day hunt for him along the wooded Wythe County-Pulaski County border. Officers had been watching Jaccard's home on Dyer Road, which is off Virginia 100, since Tuesday. They found the fugitive hiding beneath a table there about 8 p.m. Thursday, Wythe County Chief Deputy Keith Dunagan said.

Jaccard was unarmed, Dunagan said.

The weapon police suspect was used in the shootings has been recovered, and Virginia State Police have taken over the investigation, Dunagan said.

Joseph Bane was shot and killed on his front lawn just past 7 a.m. Tuesday. His neighbor, 61-year-old Jerry Covey, heard the fatal gunshot, went outside to help and was shot in the arm. Covey underwent surgery at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and was listed in good condition Friday, hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart said.

Covey's family is accepting donations through a special bank account to help defray his medical costs. Tammy Covey Lambert said her uncle, who is self-employed, has no health insurance coverage.

After the shootings, Jaccard allegedly broke into Bane's house and set it on fire while Bane's wife, Sharon, and their teenage son were inside. Sharon Bane jumped out a second-story window to escape the flames and was treated at Pulaski Community Hospital. The teen escaped unharmed.

Then Jaccard is accused of shooting at Pulaski County sheriff's Deputy J.A. Radcliffe and a Wythe County sheriff's deputy, identified as C. Coleman on the warrant, while trying to escape. Radcliffe was struck in the back along the line of his bulletproof vest and suffered a minor injury. He was treated at Pulaski Community Hospital. Coleman was not hurt.

The motive for the shootings is unclear. But court documents show that Jaccard was scheduled to appear this past Wednesday in Wythe County Circuit Court for a motions hearing on charges of taking indecent liberties with a child, abduction and possession of explosive materials.

Those charges stem from allegations that on March 18, Jaccard propositioned a 14-year-old boy with whom he was working in the neighborhood. The boy told police that he was not directly threatened but that he was scared because Jaccard was using a drawknife.

According to neighbors, Jaccard has a history of erratic behavior and feuding with neighbors. Officers have responded to several complaints over the years between Jaccard and his neighbors. But there has previously been no basis for an arrest to be made, Dunagan said.

On Friday, Bolt set hearings on the 13 charges for March 17 and 19. Two of those charges -- brandishing a firearm and attempted murder of the teenager -- were filed in Wythe County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Wythe County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Lee Harrell told the judge that the prosecution would likely move to consolidate all the charges to one court for a preliminary hearing.

Bolt said he would assign Jaccard, an unemployed Vietnam veteran living on disability, a court-appointed attorney. Jaccard is being held without bond, according to court records.

Regional jail Superintendent Gerald McPeak said Jaccard was put in the jail's medical unit as a precaution, but he was to be moved to another part of facility Friday.

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