NewsLocal News


No decision on whether son charged with murdering parents will face death penalty

Posted at 1:09 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 13:09:45-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico man charged with murdering his parents Easter Sunday appeared disheveled and had unexplained body shakes when he appeared in Henrico court Wednesday. William Roy Brissette, 22, has been charged with two counts of capital murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

William Roy Brissette

William Roy Brissette

Brissette was shackled and only answered with “yes sir” to the judge. He was appointed two capital defenders who stated they would need at least 18 months to prepare for trial.

Brissette was arrested after police found his mother Martha B. Brissette, 56, and her husband Henry J. Brissette III, 59, dead from gunshot wounds in their home along the 8300 block of Forge Road around 9:30 p.m. on March 27.

Martha and Henry Brissette

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor was not sure yet whether her office would seek the death penalty in the case.

"At this time we are still gathering the necessary information that may demonstrate aggravating or mitigating factors to make the best decision down the road," Taylor said. "However, we indicated to the court that we were not ready to make that decision today."

Taylor said they were made aware that Henrico Mental Health had been involved with Brissette in the past. Police had also been called to the Brissette home on several occasions to deal with William.

Shannon Taylor

Martha Brissette, a lawyer, previously served in the Virginia office of Attorney General.

She was currently employed as a policy analyst by the State Board of Elections.

Neighbors were shocked by the crime describing the Brissettes as hard-working, kind individuals who did their best to provide for their children.

"I watched the kids grow up," said a neighbor. "I don't know what happened to make him do something like that."

Neighbors said William lived at the Forge Road home with his parents.

“It's just a sad situation I don't know exactly what to say about it…It's just horrible,” said another neighbor.

Brissette remains in the Henrico Jail on no bond. A judge will set a trial date on June 2.