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Man accused in Brianna Armstrong murder waives preliminary hearing

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Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-12 11:37:02-05

Virginia Beach, Va. – The man accused of murdering a Chesapeake woman who was missing for weeks faced a judge in Virginia Beach on Thursday.

Justin Cornell made an appearance in court to sign papers that waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Justin Keith Cornell

Justin Keith Cornell

His attorney says he’s basically acknowledging that the Commonwealth has enough evidence to show probable cause so there’s no need for a preliminary hearing. By waiving the preliminary hearing, his case will be sent straight to the grand jury.

Cornell has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Brianna Armstrong, the Chesapeake woman who was missing for three weeks before her remains were found in trash bags in the woods along the Great Dismal Swamp Canal.

Police arrested Cornell several days later at his home in Virginia Beach. Search warrants show that some of Cornell’s belongings were found in the trash bags that Armstrong’s remains were found in.

Cornell’s next hearing is scheduled for December 17th. That’s when the Grand Jury will decide whether or not they will hand down an indictment. If they do, the Commonwealth says the trial will begin on January 25th.

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