AJ HADSELL: Virginia vs. Wesley Hadsell for 2015 murder of stepdaughter

New trial date set after mistrial declared this week for Wesley Hadsell

Wesley Hadsell has a new trial date after the first trial attempt ended in a mistrial earlier this week.

The next trial will now begin May 19 and is expected to last for three weeks.

Hadsell faces murder charges for the 2015 death of his 18-year-old stepdaughter, AJ Hadsell.

On Monday morning, the prosecution and defense were ready to go. A jury of 12 was selected and seated. The next day began with opening statements then the commonwealth called their first four witnesses: the Norfolk homicide detective assigned to the case and AJ’s college roommate, mother and younger sister.

Then Wednesday morning, everything came to a halt.

After hearing the first few witnesses testify, Hadsell decided he didn’t want to keep an agreement his defense team made with prosecution regarding what parts of his criminal record would be allowed to be brought up during the trial.

There wasn’t time for prosecutors to restructure their case without the evidence that was allowed under the agreement, so they requested a mistrial and the judge granted the request.

The judge also made it clear during Friday’s hearing that for the new trial, there will be no unofficial agreements between the two sides. Every agreement must be in writing, signed, and handed over to the court.

Hadsell will be back in court for two pretrial motions hearings. The first of those will be March 11.


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Three years after her mysterious 2015 disappearance, ‘Dad’ charged with killing adopted daughter, concealing her in ditch

A man was indicted Monday by a Southampton County, Virginia, grand jury in the mysterious 2015 slaying of his 18-year-old adoptive step-daughter, who was found buried in a ditch outside of an abandoned home, according to authorities.

Wesley Paul Hadsell, 40, faces one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree felony murder, and felony concealment of a dead body in the death of 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, according to 8News.

Police quickly identified Wesley Hadsell as a person of interest and obtained a search warrant, the newspaper reported.

A.J. Hadsell had been missing several weeks when police seized Wesley Hadsell’s 2004 Chevy Astro van and found a shovel, a roll of duct tape and black work gloves inside. The Pilot added that Wesley Hadsell reportedly told authorities he was the only person who had access to the vehicle.

According to the newspaper, police used data from a GPS device inside the van to determine the vehicle had been parked for about 20 minutes behind an abandoned house south of Franklin, near the North Carolina border.

Police went to the house and found what looked like shovel marks in the dirt and the body of a woman, later identified by a medical examiner as A.J. Hadsell. The teen was“partially buried” in a ditch, the newspaper reported.

During a police interview two days after A.J. Hadsell vanished, Wesley Hadsell reportedly said he last saw his daughter on March 2 around 12:30 p.m. when he gave her $200 at a gas station on Tidewater Drive in Southampton County.

However, when police reportedly reviewed video surveillance footage from the gas station they found no evidence Wesley Hadsell or his daughter had been there.

It appears Wesley Hadsell “tried to establish the alibi that he was back at work, and had last seen Anjelica Hadsell prior to the time of her abduction and murder,” a detective wrote in court documents obtained by The Pilot.


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Wesley Hadsell’s murder trial pushed back to March 2021

Wesley Hadsell, the man accused of killing his adopted stepdaughter back in 2015 and leaving her body in Southampton County, will now go to trial in March 2021.

The trial was scheduled to start in September 2020, but was pushed back on Thursday in a pretrial hearing due to COVID-19-related trial issues. However, he is expected to be back in court Sept. 29 for a full day of motions.

Hadsell’s murder trial will now be March 1-26.

In court Thursday morning, attorneys agreed having their first big trial since the pandemic in just a few months wasn’t feasible.

They raised concerns about witnesses coming from other states, and even some having to fly.
There were also worries about jury attentiveness and the space required for everyone to fit in the courtroom while social distancing.

Hadsell’s last trial in February was declared a mistrial, after he walked back an agreement with the prosecution about what parts of his criminal record would be allowed to be brought up during the trial.

18-year-old AJ Hadsell vanished while she was home in Norfolk on spring break in March 2015, and investigators found her body a month later behind an abandoned home in Southampton County, nearly 50 miles away.

A medical examiner determined she died as a result of homicidal violence and acute heroin poisoning, and Wesley Hadsell was charged with her murder three years later.


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Wesley Hadsell back in court ahead of upcoming murder trial in Southampton County​

Wesley Hadsell, the man accused of killing his 19-year-old step-daughter AJ Hadsell back in 2015 went before a Southampton County Judge on Monday with more pre-trial requests.

Hadsell appeared in-person rather than through video conference. His defense lawyer said there was no way this hearing could go forward without Hadsell physically present.

His defense lawyer wants limitations placed on what statements the commonwealth’s attorney and can present as evidence in the upcoming trial.

The statements in question on Monday included alleged statements Hadsell made to witnesses, to police, and to reporters during media interviews.


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The trial for a Norfolk man accused of killing his stepdaughter nearly six years ago has been moved — yet again — this time from this March 1 to Jan. 19, 2022, and is expected to last a month. There had been several continuances in 2020. The new date has been confirmed by the Southampton County Courthouse and Virginia Courts website.

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