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Longwood student’s stepdad charged with her murder

Posted at 9:59 AM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 10:06:38-05

NORFOLK, Va. -- Anjelica "AJ" Hadsell's stepfather has been charged in her death. Wesley Hadsell, 40, of Norfolk, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree felony murder, and felony concealment of a dead body in connection to AJ's 2015 disappearance and death.

"I swear to you, I didn't hurt my daughter," Hadsell told WTKR in a 2015 jailhouse interview. "I don't know who did. And if I did, I wouldn't protect them."

Hadsell, an 18-year-old Longwood University freshman, disappeared in 2015. She was later found dead in Southampton County.

Her stepfather had been a person of interest in the case.

"Mr. Hadsell is a dangerous man," AJ's first stepfather Zach Hoffner said. "When she left my home, it broke my heart and when this man moved into her life, it tore me up."

Recently unsealed court documents revealed an inmate at Western Tidewater Regional Jail suggested he'd helped Wesley in AJ's disappearance and death. The inmate hand-wrote letters to investigators saying in exchange for his cooperation, he wanted immunity. At this point, it's unclear if the claims made in the letters led to charges being filed.

On November 9, Hadsell was re-sentenced to serve 10 years in prison on a federal ammunition charge. A judge handed down the maximum sentence.

Hoffer said he's looking forward to Hadsell's eventual trial, hoping it'll bring him the closure he's been seeking all along.

"I'm going to be there because I need to learn; basically there are some important pieces I need to learn. I need to learn exactly what happens to her, and I'd like to know," Hoffer said.