UPDATE: Kasey Lynn Rubio has now pleaded guilty in Norfolk Circuit Court to four felony charges, one count of first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit arson, and one count of grand larceny. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 2014.
The jury trial for the co-defendant, Hassan Harvey, is scheduled to begin later this month.
York Co., Va. – The man found dead in a burning Mac Tools truck in York County Friday was killed in Norfolk, according to police.
The victim is identified as Austin S. King, 56, of Virginia Beach.
Police have arrested two people in connection to his death – Hassan Harvey, 34, of Norfolk and Kasey Rubio, 19, of Portsmouth.
King’s body was found Friday around 12:15 a.m. after a deputy spotted smoke on I-64 near exit 243B, the Williamsburg/Busch Gardens exit, according to Lt. Dennis Ivey, Jr. of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy responded and found a vehicle on fire. Firefighters arrived and put the fire out. As the fire cleared, crews found a man’s body inside.
The Medical Examiner has determined his cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
Saturday, police searched a business the suspects own, Top Dead Auto Center in Norfolk, but they would not say what, if anything, was found.
King’s friends were stunned to hear the news of his death. As a Mac Tools distributor for 23 years, he was well-known among area auto shops
He was also well-known in the biking community.
Daniel Dalton with Conte’s Bike and Fitness in Virginia Beach knew him for 12 years.
“Austin’s a very generous and caring person,” Dalton said, “he was one of the leaders on our group rides, helped a lot of the cyclists get into riding and helped take care of a lot of people that would have flat tires and would help out anybody that needed it.”
Dalton says King even donated a bike rack to a gas station near Pungo where he and other riders often stopped on their weekend bike trips.
“He was happy too with his life, so that was the big thing that you could tell was he was really into what he did … whether it was from driving the tool truck selling tools to people, or whether it was riding on the weekends to enjoy his life,” Dalton said.
Rubio and Harvey are facing charges in Norfolk of second-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and grand larceny. They were also charged in York County with first-degree murder, abduction and arson. A spokesperson with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in Norfolk says they will not ultimately be charged with murder in both York County and Norfolk. Right now, it’s a matter of determining jurisdiction.
NewsChannel 3 also requested an interview with both suspects, but they declined.