Man guilty of killing woman with hammer

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2009

After a three-day trial, a Suffolk man was found guilty of murdering 49-year-old Mable Anderson in January 2008.

A jury found Antonio Pope, 30, guilty of first-degree murder and shoot, stab, cut or wound in the case. The jury recommended Pope be sentenced to 50 years for the murder and five years for the other crime, though his sentencing date has not been set. He also faces a separate charge of grand larceny for allegedly stealing and pawning some of Anderson’s jewelry before her death.

“I think it’s appropriate,” Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Will Jamerson said of the verdict and recommended sentence. “I think it was first-degree murder. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Police investigating a missing person report filed by Anderson’s family found her body wrapped in trash bags inside her home. Pope, who had been living there, left a fingerprint on the garbage bag covering her head, Jamerson said. His DNA also was found on her body, and witnesses saw him there the day her body was found.

Anderson had been struck in the head nine times, according to an autopsy report. The hammer used to inflict the wounds was found in Pope’s room among his personal papers, Jamerson said, with the victim’s DNA on it.

Pope also pawned Anderson’s jewelry at shops in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

“I think the evidence was certainly overwhelming,” said Jamerson, who prosecuted the case.