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Prosecutors seek release of man who informed on killers

Two prosecutors say it’s wrong that Duncan Meekins is still behind bars when he helped put the infamous Briley brothers in the electric chair.

Robert J. Rice and Warren Von Schuch, who prosecuted the case 30 years ago, are set to meet next month with Virginia Parole Board officials to plead for Meekins’ release. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, it was a promise made to Meekins and his family when he agreed to testify against the Brileys decades ago.

The Brileys’ murderous rampage claimed the lives of 20 suspected victims in the Richmond area. Meekins, 16 at the time of the killings, accompanied the brothers during their spree. He was spared the death penalty in exchange for his testimony, which led directly to two of the three Briley brothers’ executions.

Although he was sentenced to life plus 80 years, Meekins was supposed to have been eligble for parole in 12 to 15 years. Rice and Harding say they were stunned to learn that Meekins is still incarcerated.

2 comments

  1. Kadie Chandler

    So they were surprised to learn that he was still in jail? Why then was he not just given life with the possibility of parole, but instead given life PLUS 80 years? Because they were all well aware of how dangerous this man who raped a pregnant woman while her 5 year old son and husband were within earshot of the incident and then killed them all. Along with this horrific incident he participated in at least 11 other killings the Briley’s were a part of and Meekins ONLY gave up the information that police wanted when he was arrested and his parents urged him to cooperate which would guarantee his own life would be spared.
    The agreement given to him is that he would be eligible for parole, which he is and has been repeatedly denied. His identity has been changed and he is kept out of prisons in VA in order to ensure his protection because of his “snitch” status. So if he is released, since he has a rape conviction, does he have to register as a sex offender as does every other criminal with a sexual offence, or does he get to start all over with his new assumed name.
    I can’t believe any lawyer, much less a prosecutor, would take this mans side after the horrific crimes he committed and encourage him to walk among the citizens a prosecutor is supposed to protect.

  2. Kadie Chandler

    So they were surprised to learn that he was still in jail? Why then was he not just given life with the possibility of parole, but instead given life PLUS 80 years? Because they were all well aware of how dangerous this man who raped a pregnant woman while her 5 year old son and husband were within earshot of the incident and then killed them all. Along with this horrific incident he participated in at least 11 other killings the Briley’s were a part of and Meekins ONLY gave up the information that police wanted when he was arrested and his parents urged him to cooperate which would guarantee his own life would be spared.
    The agreement given to him is that he would be eligible for parole, which he is and has been repeatedly denied. His identity has been changed and he is kept out of prisons in VA in order to ensure his protection because of his “snitch” status. So if he is released, since he has a rape conviction, does he have to register as a sex offender as does every other criminal with a sexual offence, or does he get to start all over with his new assumed name.
    I can’t believe any lawyer, much less a prosecutor, would take this mans side after the horrific crimes he committed and encourage him to walk among the citizens a prosecutor is supposed to protect.

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