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Escaped Va. inmate, cop killer arraigned on capital murder charges

Associated Press Writer

CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia- A jail inmate who was the object of a manhunt that enveloped a university campus following the slayings of a deputy sheriff and a hospital security guard was arraigned on capital murder and other charges.

William Morva, 24, was held without bond and was arraigned Tuesday from jail via video conference for security reasons, Montgomery County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Chandler said.

Morva was recaptured without incident Monday afternoon near the Virginia Tech campus and not far from where a county sheriff's deputy was shot and killed earlier in the day.

The deputy, Cpl. Eric E. Sutphin, was among officers searching for Morva, who had escaped from a hospital Sunday morning. Hospital security guard Derrick McFarland was slain and a sheriff's deputy was injured during the escape.

Morva was arraigned on charges of capital murder, assault on a police officer, escape and use of a firearm in a felony. Charges in Sutphin's slaying will be filed later, Blacksburg Police Lt. Joe Davis said.

Morva's brother, Michael Morva, 26, was charged with aiding in his brother's escape, according to Cpl. Kris Weaver. He also was charged with marijuana possession.

Sutphin's colleagues and members of the community paid their respects to the fallen officer Tuesday by laying bouquets of flowers, cards and notes on his cruiser, which was parked outside the jail.

Sutphin, 40, a decorated officer with 13 years in law enforcement, loved bike patrol and "anything working with people," Lt. Brian Wright said.

Classes resumed Tuesday at Virginia Tech, which was shut down during the manhunt on the first day of the fall semester. Classes were canceled, faculty and staff members were sent home, and the 26,000 students were advised to stay in their dorms or apartments.

Morva escaped from custody after being taken to a hospital for treatment of a sprained leg and wrist. He overpowered a sheriff's deputy and took his gun, then shot McFarland, police said. Morva was in jail awaiting trial on charges of attempting to rob several businesses.

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