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Joe Morrissey to represent Walmart murder suspect

Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 14:07:46-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va . – The woman accused of murdering another woman in a Walmart parking lot will be represented by controversial legal and political figure Joe Morrissey. The Richmond lawyer recently lost his bid to be Richmond mayor.

A lawyer from Morrissey's firm was in Hanover County District Court Tuesday as Brittany Wiggins was arraigned via video. Wiggins, 24, is accused of killing 25-year-old Ashley Fricke in the parking lot of the Walmart in Ashland on Saturday night.

She is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Attorney Paul Galanides said Wiggins was "overcharged" and that the killing was not intentional.

Wiggins was denied bond and ordered to stay in jail until her April 21 preliminary hearing.

Galanides said he was working to get her released earlier on bond.

He said he believed the evidence would eventually exonerate her.

The Walmart shooting

Fricke was shot and killed inside her car in the Walmart parking lot Saturday around 11 p.m.

Police haven't released an official motive, but Crime Insider sources told CBS 6  the shooting could have been sparked by road rage.

They said surveillance video released by police showed Wiggins' car nearly hit Fricke.

Sources said words were exchanged between the two.

Witnesses reported hearing an argument before the shooting.

Who was Ashley Fricke

Fricke, who was engaged to be married, worked at Lakeside Primary Care as a medical assistant.

Her step-brother Stephen Urbaniak said he was heartbroken to hear about her murder, and that she had her whole life ahead of her.

“She was hardworking and well-loved woman. She was the kind of person that would give anything to her friends and family. She was loved by a lot of people,” he said.

Ashland Police said they did not believe Wiggins and Fricke knew each other before the shooting.

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