CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A grand jury has indicted a Navy veteran accused of shooting and killing a Chesterfield woman and her three children last year.
Jonah Adams was indicted on 21 different criminal charges, including multiple counts of aggravated murder, first degree murder, wearing body armor and using a sawed-off gun during the commission of a crime.
Police said the victims were Adams' ex-girlfriend, Joanna Cottle, their four-year-old twins and her 13-year-old daughter.
Slain Chesterfield mom loved her kids, had 'huge heart,' sisters says
Investigators said Cottle called police to report an intruder at her home in the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road around 4 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 18.
"Ms. Cottle, the mother of the three children, called in reference to a possible intruder. As of our officers were responding, we were able to hear gunshots," Lt. Col. Chris Hensley with Chesterfield Police said in November. "Once the officers got on scene, they immediately entered the residence to find the suspect was gone. And then they found the four deceased victims... all from gunshot wounds."
Hours after the crime, federal agents and police arrested Adams in Clinton, Maryland.
JoAnna Cottle's sister told Jon Burkett in November that the 39-year-old had a "huge heart and loved [her children] and our 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. "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.
"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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic violence, click here for resources from the Virginia Department of Social Services.