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Police: Lynchburg man charged with murder after missing woman found

A Lynchburg man was charged with murder and other offenses after police discovered a dead woman who had been missing for more than two weeks.

Leonard Eugene Blackwell, 41, is charged with murder, prohibition against concealment of dead bodies, concealing or compounding offenses, and three counts of failing to register as a sex offender, the Lynchburg Police Department said in a news release.

Clarissa Devon Jones, 37, was found dead Sunday in the 200 block of Trents Ferry Road.

The police news release contained few additional details but noted an “intensive investigation,” and police thanked the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for assistance.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Detective Davis (434) 455-6166 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900.

In June 2020, Blackwell was sentenced to nine months in jail after pleading guilty in Amherst Circuit Court to two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery.

According to a plea agreement, prosecutors reduced an aggravated sexual battery of a minor charge and a sexual battery charge each to assault and battery. One count each of rape, sexual battery with intent to infect and a wounding charge against Blackwell in Amherst County also were dropped.

In June 2019, Blackwell was sentenced in Amherst Circuit Court to two years and six months in jail for failing to register as a sex offender, second offense, a Class 6 felony. Prosecutors said at the time Blackwell was convicted of a sex offense involving a minor in 2001, which placed him on the registry.

From staff reports

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