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Steinert hearing delayed

FRANKLIN—A preliminary hearing for a Franklin man accused of murdering his estranged wife on June 12 has been delayed until suspect Charles Bernard Steinert undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.

Steinert

Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke said a new date for Steinert’s preliminary hearing was not scheduled, but he anticipates it will be Oct. 6. It was originally set for today, Aug. 18, in Franklin City Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

“A psychiatric evaluation was requested by the defense, and so that will necessitate continuing the preliminary hearing,” said Cooke, who will be prosecuting Steinert.

Steinert, 36, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Tammy Jo Steinert, 37.

Virginia State Police said Steinert arrived at his wife’s house at 200 Southampton Road with a revolver. Tammy Jo Steinert’s uncle, Joseph Michael Wise, 46, of Courtland, confronted Charles Steinert outside and was shot in the abdomen. Wise was flown to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital for treatment.

Detectives believe Steinert shot and broke the window glass from a back door to his wife’s house, entered the home and chased two teenage girls and his wife into a bedroom. He then allegedly forced his way into the bedroom, shot his wife in the head and then barricaded himself in the house, holding the girls hostage.

After a standoff with police, Steinert released the girls unharmed four hours later. He then surrendered later.

Steinert is being represented by a public defender. He is being held in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk without bond.