A grand jury indicted an Amherst County man Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder in the November 2019 shooting death of his next-door neighbor.
Carson Grey Candler, 19, also was indicted on one count of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Candler was arrested following the Nov. 16 shooting that killed Justin Samuels, 43, and wounded Blakeman Norconk.
Norconk testified at an Aug. 20 preliminary hearing in Amherst General District Court the three men left a get-together at a friend's house earlier that night and headed to Canodys Store Road where Carson lives.
Norconk said an argument occurred over a gun Samuels had taken from Candler. Shortly after arriving back at his house Candler drew a second gun and shot Norconk and Samuels, according to Norconk's testimony.
Norconk testified he took cover under his truck, was shot twice in the torso at close range and lost consciousness. He described in court the unfolding of events as "an overly emotional response to an emotional situation."
Amherst County Sheriff's investigator Clay Thompson testified he responded to the scene to find Samuels dead on the ground and Candler in a police vehicle. Norconk had been taken to the hospital. Thompson said in court he interviewed Candler, who admitted to shooting Norconk and added: "I think I killed Justin Samuels."
Thompson said he could smell alcohol on Candler, who had been drinking that night, and Candler told him he wanted the gun back for protection.
A grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to send a case to trial and does not determine guilt or innocence. Candler remains in custody at the Amherst Adult Detention Center while awaiting trial.
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