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Tall Timbers woman murdered, grandson indicted

Staunton, VA- A 15-year-old Virginia boy has been indicted in the murder of his grandmother, Ruth Ann Knave, 76, of Tall Timbers (pictured below).

Robert M Cornelius, of McDowell, VA, was arrested after the Sept. 17, 2017 shooting death of Knave. Virginia State Police said Knave’s body was found inside the teen’s home—she was shot in the head.

The same day Knave’s body was discovered, police noticed her car was missing. They tracked it down at Richmond International Airport and arrested Cornelius. At the time of his arrest, police say Cornelius, then 14, was trying to catch a flight and was in possession of two of his grandmother’s credit cards. Cornelius also had a passport, jewelry and more than $1,200 in cash.

According to the search warrant, Cornelius told investigators he “accidentally shot his grandmother at his home.” During the investigation, police found a rifle outside of the home near a shed.

The Highland County, VA teen was charged with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and two counts of theft of a credit card.

Knave was married to her husband, Richard, for 29 years. She was known for being a talented seamstress and made many of the altar linens for St. George’s Episcopal Church in Valley Lee.

A three-day trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 25 in Highland County Circuit Court.

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Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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