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Man used hammer to kill ‘well-respected’ New Kent businessman, court docs allege

Posted at 4:17 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 18:50:36-05

Watch CBS 6 News starting at 5 p.m. for reporter Brendan King's updates on this breaking story.

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- A 38-year-old man was arrested after a "well-respected" businessman and rental property owner was murdered in his Lanexa home earlier this week, according to officials with the New Kent Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the 2000 Block of Carter Road in Lanexa at 1:55 p.m. Wednesday for a report of an "individual down" in a home, Sheriff Joe McLaughlin Jr. said.

Carter Road

Carter Road

When deputies arrived, they found 65-year-old Elmer Lee Stewart, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

McLaughlin said Stewart's body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for autopsy.

"The victim Mr. Elmer Lee Stewart is a well-known, well-respected, life-long resident and businessman of New Kent County," McLaughlin said.

Officials said 38-year-old Michael Anthony Jenkins, of the 15000 block of Pocahontas Trail, was later arrested without incident at his home at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“On or about Dec. 3 to Dec. 4, the accused went to the victim’s residence… with the intent to steal money and guns,” the arrest warrant alleges.

Michael Anthony Jenkins (SOURCE: New Kent Sheriff's Office)

Michael Anthony Jenkins (SOURCE: New Kent Sheriff's Office)

Court documents allege Jenkins killed Stewart by hitting him “in the head several times” with a hammer.

The suspect then stole $500 in cash and two handguns before leaving the home, according to the warrant.

The court documents also said Jenkins later returned to Stewart’s home to “take more money and guns.”

Additionally, investigators later recovered the victim’s checkbook and the murder weapon, which belonged to the victim, according to the arrest warrant.

Jenkins was charged with one count of second-degree murder and grand larceny - property – cash, checks etc. He was also charged with two counts of the following: grand larceny of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and third petit larceny charge in less than 10 years.

Court documents also state Jenkins was served with outstanding warrants for grand larceny and breaking and entering in Williamsburg /James City County.

Jenkins is being held without bond at Henrico Jail East. He is scheduled to appear in court in March.

Witnesses told Brendan King that Jenkins rented a mobile home from Stewart.

Kim Canny, who works at Stewart’s Grocery and knew the victim, was stunned by the news.

“He was always just real super kind. And It was a shock to hear that somebody did that to him," Canny said. "He was happy retired and every time he came in, I would say, ‘Getting tired of retirement yet?’ And he would say, “Nope… I’m retired.’”

Officials said Stewart owned rental properties in the county. The victim's sister owned Stewart’s Grocery, but recently sold it to Canny.

Officials urged anyone with information on this case to call the New Kent Sheriff’s Office at 804 966-9500 or Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804 780-1000. Crime Stoppers tips can be submitted via the P3 Tips app as well.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.