Trial of Franklin man accused of murder continues

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The trial of Joseph McDonald Lynch Jr. of Franklin, who stands accused of first-degree murder and several related charges in the death of Martinez D. Hill, will continue for an eighth day in Southampton County Circuit Court. The trial began on Aug. 7 with Lynch pleading not guilty to all charges.

Lynch Jr.

In addition to murder, Lynch is charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm in public resulting in death.

According to police, Hill — who went by the street name “TT” — suffered a gunshot wound to the head while riding in a vehicle on the night of Dec. 12, 2014. Officers later learned that the bullet had come from outside the car.

After Hill was struck, the people in the vehicle reportedly dropped him off at the emergency room at Southampton Memorial Hospital and then fled. Hill later died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Capt. Tim Whitt, spokesman for the Franklin Police Department, said at the time of the incident that the shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Rosewood Avenue, near where police were earlier that night responding to a report of gunshots fired in the area of Rosewood and Washington Street. The department’s investigation of the incidents led them to suspect Lynch, who goes by the street name “Chunk.”

He was formally charged on Dec. 16, 2014, and arraigned in late 2015.