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Joshua Federico murder trial: Prosecutor calls defense theory ‘nuts’

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 18:12:53-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A jury of 10 women and two men are deliberating the fate of Joshua Federico, the Chesterfield man accused of shooting his estranged wife and killing her boyfriend last summer.

As Sarah Federico’s blood-soaked shirt hung before the jury, Commonwealth Attorney's Scott Miles said the prosecutors had “proven beyond all doubt" that Joshua Federico shot Sarah and killed her boyfriend Lawrence Howell in August of 2018.

Howell’s remains were found days later in a burn pit on Federico’s farm where prosecutor said he used tires to basically “cremate” the body.

Miles pointed to emotional testimony from Sarah, who is now paralyzed from the shooting. She told the court her estranged husband shot her inside her home on Second Branch Road.

Miles told jurors that if they believe Sarah, then Josh is guilty of all eight felonies, including Howell’s murder.

Joshua Federico

Joshua Federico

The defense only called five witnesses during the trial.

During closing arguments, Defense Attorney Paul Gregorio called Sarah Federico a cheater and a liar who was trying to exploit Joshua for money.

Gregorio also said on multiple occasions that "physical evidence does not lie — but people do.”

He alleged that investigators only tested evidence that showed Joshua Federico carried out the attack and disposal of Howell’s body.

Miles countered that claim calling the theory “nuts.” In fact, he said the only reason the evidence points to Joshua Federico is because he did it.

Miles also raised questions about why Sarah Federico would lie about who shot her.

The jury began deliberating the case just before 3 p.m. Wednesday. Those deliberations will continue when the jury reconvenes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The trial began Monday.