Man convicted in Portsmouth murder romantically linked to victim’s wife

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Franklin W. Layne III

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A 59-year-old Portsmouth man has been convicted of first degree murder for the June 2017 murder of 70-year-old John Nunamaker.

Portsmouth Police were called to the intersection of Chippewa Trail and Mohican Drive early on June 8 and found Nunamaker had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Layne was arrested and charged with his murder.

According to the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney, Layne was found to have been romantically involved with Nunamaker’s estranged wife.

Video evidence from the night of the murder shows Layne pulling out a gun and shoving Nunamaker several times before shooting him. Despite a history of violent behavior, the victim had no weapon and made no effort to defend himself against Nunamaker on the night of the shooting.

The video reportedly shows Layne firing one gunshot into Nunamaker’s right temple at such close proximity that the imprint of the gun’s muzzle was burned onto Nunamaker’s skin.

The Commonwealth is recommending a sentence of 23 years in prison.

Layne is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.


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