Friday, September 19, 2008
*Jephson pleads guilty in quadruple homicide
By Linwood Outlaw III — Daily Staff Writer
(4:39 p.m.) WINCHESTER — A man charged in an October 2006 quadruple homicide in Frederick County admitted to the killings on Friday while pleading guilty to a host of charges.
Jessi Ashton Jephson appeared for a hearing before Judge John Prosser in Frederick County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon with his counsel, public defender Tim Coyne and capital defense attorney Joseph Flood. Jephson had previously faced an April 14 jury trial.
Under the agreement reached with the commonwealth, Jephson pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder, four counts of using a firearm while committing a felony and two counts of larceny. Four counts of first-degree murder and one count of capital murder that had been leveled against the defendant were dismissed. The agreement calls for Jephson to be sentenced to life imprisonment. There is no parole in Virginia.
The plea deal would also permit prosecutors to bring the dropped capital murder charge back against Jephson should he commit any acts of violence, Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn Williamson said.
Jephson, 22, formerly of 839 Hunting Ridge Road, was charged with the Oct. 5, 2006, shooting deaths of his girlfriend, Amanda Orndorff, 19; her 23-month-old son, Christopher Ryan Orndorff; her father, Samuel Orndorff Sr., 60; and her nephew, Travis Wade Putman, 17. The victims were found in or near their residence in the 800 block of Hunting Ridge Road, according to Frederick County authorities.
Jephson will be sentenced on Jan. 14. He is being held in the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.
For more details on this developing story, read Saturday's issue of The Northern Virginia Daily or visit nvdaily.com