2017-04-26 / News Briefs



Early gay rights activist found slain

A Chesterfield man found slain in his apartment last week was an early advocate for gay and lesbian rights in Virginia.

Bruce M. Garnett, 67, has been identified by county police as the victim of a homicide. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Garnett was a lobbyist for the gay and lesbian rights movement, and was reportedly the “first openly gay man to lobby the General Assembly.”

On April 21, police arrived at Garnett’s apartment in the 700 block of Chinaberry Drive just before 3:30 p.m. Garnett had not been seen in several weeks, and police were responding to a call to check on his welfare. After entering the apartment, officers located Garnett’s body. Police believe Garnett had been deceased for several weeks. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and determined he was stabbed to death.

“He was a pioneer in the gay rights movement in Virginia. This was a time when it was not safe to be out,” says Bill Harrison, executive director for Diversity Richmond. “He was publicly out, and he would go before City Council committees and he would talk about the injustices against people because of their sexual orientation.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact county police at 748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

Petersburg man arrested for murder of county man

A man has been indicted for first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the death of a Chesterfield man.

At approximately 2:18 a.m. on March 30, Petersburg police were called to the 7-Eleven convenience store at 701 S. Crater Road for a report of a person shot. Officers found Michael Ward, 24, of the 5000 block of River Road in Chesterfield, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Ward was taken to a local hospital where he died of his injuries.

Patrick S. Parrish, 26, was arrested on April 11 and indicted on April 20. His last known address was in the 500 block of Greensville Avenue in Petersburg.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Petersburg/Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at 861-1212.

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