Cops: Suspect wanted in Caroline beating is connected to Henrico murder

Posted at 10:33 PM, Nov 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-12 13:37:40-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR) - Police in Caroline County arrested a man wanted for murder, attempted murder, and robbery.

Authorities informed CBS 6 of the arrest after a story aired with his mugshot, prompting a tip that led them to Al-Lahteef Jones.

Jones was arrested Monday morning in Nottoway County on charges relating to two separate attacks in Henrico and Caroline Counties.

They say Al-Lahteef Jones is armed and dangerous, wanted as a person of interest in a September stabbing murder off Crenshaw Road and for attempted murder and robbery in Caramel Church.

"Not only was James left to die, but we are left with hefty hospital bills,” said Darrell Simms about the beating his brother suffered.  “We don't want a pity party.  All we want is justice."

James Simms had been wrapping up a long day of detailing trucks outside a CB radio shop off Route 207 recently, when deputies say ones came close to beating him to death.

"[James] polishes rims on trucks and cars, a hard working man, making a living,” said Darrell Simms.  “After church we came here and my mom found him in a puddle of blood, fighting for his life."

"We found a man on the ground that had been severely beaten, asking where his money was," said Caroline County Investigator Karl Eichenmiller.

Investigators confirmed robbery was the motive in that act of violence and said it wasn’t Jones’ first violent offense.

Detectives say Jones has a rap sheet with a number of felonies and was named a person of interest in the stabbing death of William Lewis Culpepper, a man whose body Henrico police found off Crenshaw Avenue in the early morning hours on September 15th.

Neighbors say Jones used to visit a young woman in their community from Caroline County, but police wouldn't elaborate whether there was a connection.

Simms’ brother wants you at home to take a good look at the picture police are circulating of the suspect, saying your eyes or perhaps divine intervention could help solve his brother’s near-death experience.

“Prayer is what our family believes in,” said Darrell Simms.  “That's the motto we use.  It'll be a process, but the reason I agreed to do this interview, is because we want justice and this guy to be caught."

James Simms is still recovering from serious head injuries and his brother says he doesn't remember much.  If you know the whereabouts of Jones, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 780-1000.