Virginia Beach man sentenced to 30 years after pleading guilty to husband's murder, striking husband's mother with vehicle

Jail Handcuffs
Posted at 12:42 PM, Aug 23, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A man was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a fatal house fire and a hit-and-run that both happened in the 1700 block of Rose Petal Drive in 2019.

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced Monday that 36-year-old Roel Ray Delua pled guilty to charges of second-degree murder, wounding in the commission of a felony, malicious wounding, and hit and run - personal injury.

The judge sentenced him to 70 years in prison with 40 years suspended, leaving 30 years to serve. This sentence is actually greater than the recommendation of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines. The state's guidelines recommended a sentence no greater than 25 years and eight months.

Officials say if this matter had gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that in December 2018, Delua's husband, John Kilgore, moved out of their home on Rose Petal Drive and said he wanted to begin the divorce process. The couple then began to split assets and start selling the home.

Officials say on January 28, 2019, Kilgore went to the home to meet someone to sell a desk. Kilgore's mother took him to the home and waited outside.

When the purchaser left, officials say Delua stabbed Kilgore multiple times in the face, neck, chest, torso, abdomen, back, and hands. He left Kilgore’s body in an upstairs bedroom, started a fire on the kitchen stove, and left the home.

Kilgore’s mother was still outside waiting when she saw the flames and ran towards the home.

Delua, who was parked a short distance down the street, rapidly accelerated and struck her with his car.

According to court documents, Kilgore's mother suffered significant bruising and a laceration to her head. When she regained consciousness, she was able to crawl to a nearby home and call for help. The Virginia Beach Fire Department extinguished the fire and found Kilgore dead.

Meanwhile, officials say Delua went to a nearby Walmart and attempted to commit suicide. Police located him in the Walmart bathroom and took him to the hospital.

Delua told police that Kilgore’s family turned Kilgore against him. He said he deserved the death penalty and would only tell detectives what happened if they promised him the death penalty.