Isle of Wight double homicide suspects appear in court

Posted at 10:45 AM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 10:45:43-05

ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. - The two men accused of murdering an elderly Isle of Wight mother and her adult son were in court Thursday afternoon.

Kareem Mitchell, 29, and Richard Holmes, 19, are both charged with two counts first degree murder for the September slayings.

Kareem Mitchell and Richard Holmes

On September 23, 80-year-old Nancy Starnes and her 58-year-old son Kenneth Starnes were found shot to death inside their Smithfield home.

After a thorough investigation deputies charged Mitchell Holmes with two counts of murder, firearms charges and burglary.

Court documents revealed Mitchell shot the two multiple times, while Holmes admitted to being there.

Police told News 3 the “gruesome scene” was part of a home invasion.

Court documents revealed Mitchell kicked in the door to the home of the Starnes and then saw Kenny reach for something, so he shot his gun and then saw Kenny fall back. Mitchell then "just panicked" and fired again, the court documents say.

Next, he heard Nancy calling out and he went into her room.

The complaint says Mitchell "snapped and fired once and then his finger was on the trigger and he fired a second time."

Court documents also say investigators found Mitchell hiding in a closet of his home "under a pile of clothes."

Inside the home, investigators found several items from the Starnes' home, including a TV and a laptop, according to the court documents.

Two others have also been charged for their involvement.

At their hearing on Thursday, both the defense and the Commonwealth agreed to continue their hearings because they are still waiting on lab results vital to the case.

Neither Mitchell nor Holmes spoke in court as they stood before the judge.

Holmes' mother requested that he be released from jail and sent to live with her but a judge denied her request.

Click here for our full coverage on the double homicide of Nancy and Kenneth Starnes.