Suspected Abingdon killer has lengthy criminal history

Joshua Copeland

Police in Abingdon, Virginia are still looking for a man they say killed his father Thursday.

Police said Joshua Copeland, 31, killed his father Edsel Copeland, 67, in the parking lot behind the Department of Probation before taking off.

News Channel 11 found out Copeland had a probation appointment at the time of the murder. We found Copeland has a lengthy criminal history.

Since 2007, Copeland has faced 15 charged out of Washington County, Virginia. Most recently, in January 2013, he pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth, stealing a firearm and a vehicle, and entering a house to commit assault and battery. Now, Copeland is charged with first degree murder.

“At 11 am [Thursday] officers from the Abingdon Police Department responded to a medical emergency in the parking lot of the probation and parole office,” said Tenille Montgomery, Community Relations Coordinator for the police department.

Montgomery said officers found the 67 year old victim with a chest wound, but they couldn’t release information about what might have caused the injury.

“He was transported to the hospital and later died there of his injuries,” Montgomery said.

She said witnesses told police they saw Joshua Copeland assault his father before taking off in a 2006 silver Dodge Charger with Virginia plates JWN-3505.

Folks we spoke with were not only shocked to hear of a murder downtown, but also nervous that the suspected killer is still on the run.

“I couldn’t believe it, it’s kind of nerve wracking to be in this area and here that something like this can actually happen around here is kind of scary,” Jerica Adkins told News Channel 11.

Police are still looking for Joshua Copeland, anyone with information about his location is asked to call local law enforcement.

Copyright WJHL 2015. All rights reserved.

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