Hall pleads guilty to second-degree murder

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Cana man faces up to 40 years in prison

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

 HILLSVILLE — A Cana man has entered a guilty plea to killing a man who was supposed to be his friend.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, Chad James Hall pleaded guilty in Carroll Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the death of Justin Wade Edwards, 21, of Cana, in March 2009 at Stewart's Creek.

Carroll Sheriff's deputies first started searching for Edwards after their office received a missing persons report.

The sheriff's department filed charges against Hall after Edwards' decomposed body was found on a private farm along the creek.

Authorities have said from the time charges were placed they believed the shooting arose from drug problems. The two men were supposed to be fishing that day.

Authorities recovered a shotgun and shells in this case.

According to Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad, Hall faces up to 40 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections on the second-degree murder. Goad said Hall also pleaded guilty to a use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, which carries with it a three-year minimum prison sentence.

This plea agreement does not set a punishment, leaving that to be decided by the court.

The sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 26. Hall remains in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.