Small town sees first homicide in 7 years after 19-year-old’s murder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LUNENBURG COUNTY, Va. -- Kenbridge is a tiny community inside Lunenburg County, with a population right around 1,200. News of a murder in broad daylight Thursday shocked the community.

Evidence markers littered the 2800 block of Center Street, the focal point of the town's first murder investigation in about seven years.

The victim’s family confirms to CBS 6 the man killed was 19-year-old Jamal ‘Mel’ Williams. Police have arrested 20-year-old Jason Lee and charged him with first-degree murder.

"For it to happen to him and happen here in this small town," Leslie Woods, Williams’ aunt, shaking her head.

Chief of Police Raymond Hite said the victim suffered injuries to the abdomen. He said they're unsure of the weapon used. It could've been a gun or a knife.

"We found a male that had been assaulted, and the weapon is still unknown," said Hite.

"We’re interviewing suspect and we have three eyewitnesses who we are getting statements from,” said Hite.  “The investigation is ongoing."

Family and friends along Center Street reminisced about Jamal. They called him Mel and claim everyone around knew of his big, bright smile. "Who didn't know Mel, man? This is Kenbridge,” said a family member who didn’t give her name.

"He was a pretty stand-up guy," said Woods.

Police are now trying to piece together the minutes before the deadly assault. Jamal Williams’ body has been taken to the Medical Examiner's office in Richmond to determine an official cause of death.