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Bond denied for defendant in Appomattox County murder case

APPOMATTOX — A judge denied bond Thursday for an Appomattox County man accused of murder in connection with a July 2021 shooting.

Charles Roosevelt Abbitt Jr., 37, of Spout Spring, has been in custody since July 21 after Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a shooting that afternoon at a residence in the 1400 block of Spring Grove Road.

Responders found 34-year-old Carlos Rican Roman Jr., also of Spout Spring, there with a gunshot wound. Roman died at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

Abbitt faces one felony count each of second-degree murder, using a firearm in commission of a felony, possessing a firearm as a felon and malicious wounding. He appeared Thursday in Appomattox County Circuit Court via video before Judge Andy Nelson and said prior to his arrest he worked as a handyman performing odd jobs.

Abbitt said he would stay with a relative if granted bond while awaiting trial.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Kia Scott opposed the bond request. She said Roman was killed by a single gunshot wound, and that Abbitt is alleged to have fled the scene and later turned himself into the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office.

Scott cited the defendant’s extensive criminal record, including just more than a dozen prior felonies, including charges of assault and battery, violating a protective order, contempt of court, assaulting a law enforcement officer, grand larceny and destruction of property, among those she read in court. Abbitt also pleaded guilty Dec. 10 in Lynchburg Circuit Court to a misdemeanor count each of possessing drug paraphernalia and driving while intoxicated and was given an active 5-day jail sentence, according to court records.

Khalil Latif, an attorney representing Abbitt during the hearing Thursday, said the defendant acted in self-defense. The shooting occurred at the house where Abbitt lives and he was defending himself against Roman, who was under the influence of methamphetamine, Latif said in court.

Nelson said the charges are very serious and, in taking up the bond request, he has to consider protecting the public and ensuring the defendant will appear at trial.

Latif, who is taking a job as a prosecutor in Nottoway County, motioned to be removed as Abbitt’s attorney. Nelson appointed local attorney Kevin Bailey to take up the case.

Abbitt remains in custody while awaiting trial, which tentatively is scheduled for March 3.

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