Suspect in Petersburg pastor abduction gets capital murder charges

PETERSBURG, Va. – The man who had several charges related to a January 18 crime spree that spanned several Virginia cities and counties was officially indicted for capital murder.

Kristopher Jones

The Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cheryl Wilson appeared before a grand jury Thursday, July 20, seeking capital murder indictments in the Kristopher Jones case.

Jones was indicted for capital murder in the commission of a robbery, and capital murder in the commission of abduction, both for the death of Minnie Woodard.

The commonwealth’s attorney told CBS 6 that they are now in the process of serving Jones those indictments and still considering whether to pursue the death penalty.

Jones was also indicted on a charge of capital murder, killing more than one person in three years.
The charge is related to the murder of his girlfriend, Janice Lugo, 52. Jones was also indicted for the first-degree murder and abduction of her.

Jones returns to court August 1.

The crime

Woodard was a 76-year-old church pastor, and Jones worked for her husband, Pastor Alfred Woodard.
Lugo lived just a block away from the Woodards.

Mr. Woodard testified months ago that the last time he spoke with his wife was when she came upstairs to tell him that Jones was there to see him. She also told him it was time to eat.

Minnie Woodard

The pastor said that was around 9 a.m. and he fell back asleep. The pastor said he fell asleep but awoke to find Jones standing near his bed with a 12-inch kitchen knife. He told Woodard, "I'm here to rob you."

When Woodard asked where his wife was, he testified that Jones responded, "She's in my truck with my friend."

Jones then told Woodard that he needed a lot of money and began to rifle through the man's wallet.

During the encounter, Woodard said Jones also told him that he had just killed his girlfriend.

Jones' girlfriend, 52-year old year Janice Lugo, was later found dead in her home, which is one block away from the Woodwards' home on Jefferson Avenue.

When asked for his debit card PIN, Woodard testified that he told Jones, "You can have all you want. Take me to a bank and I can get it out of the teller machine."

Woodard then drove Jones to an ATM and then to the Bank of America on S. Crater Road in Petersburg where he told tellers to call 911.

Jones left Woodard at the bank and eluded police at speeds of about 100 miles per hour, according to a Petersburg Police officer.

His next moves are unknown, and it is unclear how Minnie disappeared.

After searching for hours, Jones was arrested January 19 in a Lowe’s parking lot in Norfolk.

Detective Justin Matthews, a 14-year veteran with the Norfolk Police Department, testified he put the suspect inside his car where Jones asked, "Do you want to know where her body's at?"

Jones then offered to tell police the location of where he left what was later determined to be Minnie Woodard's body, according to the detective.

Jones told detectives her body was under a wood pile in the back of a home in the Matoaca area.

Police would later find Minnie's body behind a home under construction on River Road in Chesterfield.

Related:

Petersburg murder, abduction suspect worked for victims, family says

Wife of pastor found slain on vacant Chesterfield property