A plea hearing has been set in the case against a man accused of killing three people on Bent Mountain in June 2018.

Trevor E. Charles, 19, has been in custody since last year when he was charged with fatally shooting three people at a home off U.S. 221 in Roanoke County.

He’s now slated to appear in Roanoke County Circuit Court for a plea hearing Sept. 9. His attorneys couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The prosecutor’s office declined to discuss the details of what will be presented prior to the scheduled hearing.

But officials said the families of the victims had been consulted and were supportive of moving forward.

“We’ve come to an agreement that the commonwealth is satisfied with and that the families are satisfied with,” said assistant prosecutor Nate Griffith. “It will all be resolved on Sept. 9.”

Charles is facing eight felony charges, including two counts of capital murder, in the slayings of 20-year-old Cole Kennedy, 20-year-old Brandon Dekle and 18-year-old Miranda Trump. The prosecutor’s office added the capital murder charges last year but said at the time it was still weighing whether to push for the death penalty in the case.

Kennedy and Dekle were longtime friends and roommates who became friends with Charles and agreed to let him stay with them, according to other friends of the pair.

Trump, who’d just graduated from Cave Spring High School days earlier, worked with Dekle and Kennedy at the popular Bent Mountain Bistro.

Their deaths stunned the quiet, tight-knit mountainside community. Friends and family crowded together at vigils and memorial services to grieve. The trio were remembered for their kind hearts and their youthful, fun-loving outlook on the world.

The three were found at Kennedy and Dekle’s house in June 2018 after Trump’s father grew worried when he couldn’t get in touch with her and contacted the police.

Charles would later admit to the shootings and told detectives he had been hounded by voices in his head that made him do it, according to excerpts of a police interview transcript read aloud last year during a preliminary hearing in court.

Crying and growling, Charles said he never wanted to harm the people who had taken him in. “I killed my only friends, and I don’t even know why,” he said, according to the interview records.

The prosecution took a skeptical view of the claim of malicious voices during that hearing.

Charles has remained in custody without bond since his arrest. He’s facing three charges of first-degree murder, two of capital murder for the killing of multiple victims and three for the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Get breaking news delivered straight to your inbox with our email newsletter.

Alicia Petska covers what's happening in Roanoke County and the City of Salem.

Recommended for you