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Father charged with killing Chesterfield family returns to face judge

Posted at 1:10 PM, Feb 14, 2023

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va., — A father accused of shooting and killing a Chesterfield woman and her three children appeared in court Tuesday morning.

Jonah Adams, 35, was arraigned on four counts of first-degree murder associated with the November 18 crimes.

Chesterfield Police said the victims were Adams' ex-girlfriend, 39-year-old JoAnna Cottle, their four-year-old twins, and her 13-year-old daughter.

JoAnna Cottle and family
JoAnna Cottle and family

Investigators said Cottle called police to report an intruder at her home in the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road.

As officers responded, dispatchers said they could hear gunshots. Officers later found the bodies inside the home.

Adams was later arrested at his home in Maryland.

He had been held in Maryland for the last three months and was transferred back to Central Virginia on Monday.

Adams was the father of Cottle’s twins, according to police.

CBS 6 learned Cottle had previously filed for a protective order against Adams, but Crime Insider sources said the order was denied by a judge.

On Tuesday, Adams appeared via video conference in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

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Judge J. David Rigler appointed Adams a public defender.

Adams is being held at Riverside Regional Jail without bond.

He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 24.

In an interview about the incident, Cottle's sister said JoAnna had a "huge heart and loved [her children] and our family."

Cottle Family
Cottle Family

She said her sister and Adams broke up before the babies were born.

"After their birth, there was a period where they were trying to work things out, but reconciliation never came to fruition," Cottle's sister said in a November 2022 interview. "Really the only connection they had left was a small amount of child support that would come out of Adams' check."

Their aunt remembered the three children as "amazing" and "smart."

Kaelyn expressed herself through art, according to her aunt. And one of her favorite drawings of a hummingbird is symbolic as all four have now gained their wings, she said.

Kaelyn Parson and twins Kinsey and Jayson Cottle.
Kaelyn Parson and twins Kinsey and Jayson Cottle.

"They were amazing kids," she said. "Smart — I mean Kaelyn, if you talk to anyone at her school, they'd tell you she was. They all loved her."

The twins were full of life and loved to start a conversation by saying, "I have a question," Cottle's sister remembered.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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