Trial set for Henrico man charged with murdering parents

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico man charged with murdering his parents Easter Sunday will stand trial in 2017.

William Roy Brissette, 22, was charged with two counts of capital murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Brissette was arrested after police found his mother Martha B. Brissette, 56, and her husband Henry J. Brissette III, 59, dead from gunshot wounds in their home along the 8300 block of Forge Road around 9:30 p.m. on March 27.

Henry J. Brissette III and Martha B. Brissette

Henry J. Brissette III and Martha B. Brissette

In Henrico County Circuit Court Thursday, Brissette waived his right to a speedy trial. A judge set the trial for June 5-16, 2017.

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said her office was not ready to determine whether they will seek the death penalty in the case. The state has until Aug. 16 to decide.

Brissette’s capital defenders objected to the trial date and asked the court for at least 18 months to prepare their defense.

Prosecutors said they were made aware that Henrico Mental Health had been involved with Brissette in the past. Taylor said her office has to determine whether Brissette has undergone a proper psychological evaluation.

WTVR CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone explained it is advantageous for the prosecution to not rush the death penalty decision.

“The ability to seek the death penalty is one of the greatest powers that a prosecutor has,” Stone said. “They always have to be cautious in how they exercise that power. The prosecutor wants to have all the information about his mental health history and prior record so they can make a good, reasonable decision whether to seek the death penalty.”

William Roy Brissette

William Roy Brissette

Police had also been called to the Brissette home on several occasions to deal with William.

Martha Brissette, a lawyer, previously served in the Virginia office of Attorney General. She was currently employed as a policy analyst by the State Board of Elections.

Neighbors were shocked by the crime describing the Brissettes as hard-working, kind individuals who did their best to provide for their children. Neighbors said William lived at the Forge Road home with his parents.

Brissette continues to be held without bond at the Henrico Jail. He will appear in court again for a motions hearing on June 23.

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