BERRYVILLE — State police haven’t released a motive for the March 17 killing of Jeffrey B. Evans, but a search warrant affidavit indicates it may have been marijuana-related or connected to an antique truck purchase.
Evans posed on Facebook with large amounts of cash and marijuana, and a large amount of cash and a gun were found in his pickup truck after he was shot, according to the affidavit written by state police Special Agent Matthew Jones. He said police seized what they believe was marijuana, along with a computer and phone, from Evans’ Loudoun County home a day after his death.
The affidavit, filed in Loudoun County court, said Evans, a 72-year-old auto repair shop owner, called a woman in Pennsylvania shortly before his death and told her he was going to “meet a guy.” The woman told police the meeting was about Evans buying an antique truck. Jones said Evans’ Facebook page showed multiple photos of antique vehicles.
Evans was killed while parked in a gravel lot on Castleman Road off Harry Flood Byrd Highway (Va. 7) in Clarke County, which Jones described as being “known for drug and other criminal activity.”
Police said homicide suspect Dale Lee Wright told police he reached into the driver’s side door panel of Evans’ pickup and shot him with his own pistol.
Wright, 50, of the first block of Bellview Lane in Charles Town, W.Va., faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony in Evans’ death. He appeared briefly in Clarke General District Court on Wednesday, and his case was continued to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 11. Wright was being held without bond at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Frederick County on Wednesday night.
In an obituary on Evans’ Facebook page, his daughter Sarah Nicole Evans wrote that Evans spent 20 years in the Air Force as a tactical aircraft technician after graduating from high school in Altoona, Pa. Evans described her father as a perfectionist who loved working on aircraft and vehicles and had “incredible integrity and determination.”
After his discharge from the Air Force, Evans spent 25 years working at Lenah Auto Service in Aldie. Among his customers was Richard Poland, who sat in court with Sarah Evans on Wednesday.
After the court hearing, Poland said he came to provide moral support for Evans’ family. He said he’d known Evans since 2009 and bonded with him over their love of cars and right-wing political beliefs. Poland described Evans as a blunt speaker who was outspoken about his political views.
Poland said Evans was the “glue of the community” in terms of car service. He said there was always a long line at Lenah because of Evans’ reputation for trustworthiness.
“He didn’t beat around the bush,” Poland said. “He’d tell you straight up, you should spend your money on it or get rid of it.”
Poland said Evans’ customers, friends and family were stunned by the killing. “Everybody’s in shock and disbelief.”