Two men charged with the murder of Lynchburg teenager Raymond Wood now face upgraded charges. A Bedford County Grand Jury has indicted Kevin Soto-Bonilla and Christian Sanchez-Gomez on counts that include capital murder. That is a charge which includes the possibility of a death penalty for convictions. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said last March that the two are “known members” of the MS-13 gang. They are charged with involvement in the death of Wood, the 17-year-old who was found dead along a roadway in Goode in late March.
(Continue reading for the full Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney news release.)
Today, the Bedford County Grand Jury met to consider a number of proposed indictments. Two defendants who were previously charged for their alleged role in the death of a juvenile on or about March 27, 201 7, saw their charges upgraded by these indictments. True bills were returned against the following individuals:
Kevin Josue Soto Bonilla, age 20, and Cristian Jose Sanchez Gomez, age 22, have now been charged with Capital Murder, Robbery, Abduction for Pecuniary Benefit and Participation in a Criminal Act in Association with a Criminal Street Gang.
Upon return of these true bills, arrest warrants will be issued and served against the two individuals. The preliminary hearings for both men, scheduled for November 20, 2017 in Bedford’s Juvenile and Domestic Court, will no longer take place as those charges will be nolle prosequied. The defendants are presently held without bond in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail System, and their initial appearance in the Bedford County Circuit Court will be determined after the service of the aforementioned arrest warrants.
The investigation into the death of Raymond Wood continues unabated after these indictments. Additionally, Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance would also like to take this time to announce that he has added members of the Office of the Attorney General’s Office to the prosecution team to open new avenues of prosecution both of this crime and the criminal gang allegedly associated with it. Therefore, anyone who believes that they may have information helpful to this investigation is urged to contact the Bedford Count y Sheriff s Office at 540-586- 4800.
Each of these individuals is presumed to be innocent. The fact that true bills have been returned against them does not change that presumption or the Commonwealth’s burden of proof in criminal matters.