Finances motive behind murders?

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Murder suspect Joe Charles "Jay" Joyner Jr. is escorted from the Isle of Wight County Courthouse on Monday. Joyner is accused of shooting death his father and kiling his stepmother in Carrsville on Thursday. GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

CARRSVILLE—Hubie Dunnagan since Friday has had his morning coffee alone.

The 84-year-old shared a cup at his home daily with neighbor Joe Joyner, who was shot to death Thursday three days after his 62nd birthday, allegedly by his only son, Joe Charles “Jay” Joyner Jr. of Courtland.

Dunnagan no longer needs the bowl of Splenda on his kitchen table. That was Joe Joyner’s choice of sweeteners. Dunnagan also put away Joe Joyner’s favorite mug, which he said kept his coffee warmer.

“It’s beyond my belief that something like this happened to Joe,” Dunnagan said Tuesday. “Joe was like one of my children. I lost my best friend. He was a good man.”

The claim that Jay Joyner, 37, killed his father and stepmother, Sandra Joyner, 58, at the couple’s 31334 Walters Highway home on Thursday because they planned to cut him off financially has been heard, said Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall.

“We have that same information from several different people,” Marshall said. “At this time, it’s all speculation. That’s some of the things we certainly are chasing.”

It’s his understanding that Jay Joyner had lived in Louisiana with his wife and children.

“We understand he came back to Isle of Wight and was living at his mother’s house since September in Courtland,” Marshall said.

Dunnagan did not want to talk about the rumor that Joe Joyner planned to cut off his son, but indicated that Joe and Sandra Joyner about two to three weeks ago traveled to Louisiana with Jay.

“Jay’s wife had a baby and Joe was hoping they could get together and work things out,” Dunnagan said. “He (Jay) asked he (Joe) and Sandy to go for a drive so they could talk things over. When they got back, he (Joe Joyner) felt good about it. When they got ready to go home, Jay came with them.”

Dunnagan said Jay Joyner had worked in Virginia Beach and had just changed jobs. He also said that Joe Joyner, who in November made an unsuccessful bid for county supervisor, was helping his son’s family with money.

“Jay bought a home in New Orleans and they were getting ready to foreclose on it,” Dunnagan said. “To keep from foreclosing on it, (Joe helped out). This wasn’t the first time. They were behind on payments in electricity. Joe has gone down there and bailed them out. He just got tired of doing this.”

Dunnagan doesn’t believe that Jay and Joe Joyner were hunting at the time of the murder.

Dunnagan, who last saw Joe Joyner at about 10 a.m. Thursday, knew what Joe was doing in his field but didn’t want to say.

Joe Joyner was found dead in the woods behind his home on Friday evening from a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators indicated he had been dragged to the location and his body was covered.

“We still don’t know how they got into the woods,” Marshall said.

Sandra Joyner, a nurse at Southampton Memorial Hospital, was found beaten to death inside the home.

After making the arrest on Tuesday, police did not release a motive and could not indicate who was killed first.