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Estranged husband charged with murder in former Berkeley County woman's death

February 29, 2008|Special from The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va.

LYNCHBURG, Va. - The estranged husband of a former basketball star at Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in connection with the woman's Dec. 20, 2007, death, according to the site administrator at the Bedford (Va.) Adult Detention Center.

Wesley Earnest also was charged with use of firearm in commission of a felony in the death of Jocelyn Denise Branham Earnest, said Mark Cahow of the detention center.

Jocelyn Earnest, 38, was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head Dec. 20 at her home in Forest, Va.

Jocelyn Earnest graduated from Hedgesville High School in 1988, and received a full basketball scholarship to West Virginia University. She graduated from WVU with degrees in marketing and economics, then received her master's degree in business administration from Virginia Tech.

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She was a project manager for Genworth Financial in Lynchburg.

Wesley Earnest was arraigned Thursday morning in Bedford County (Va.) General District Court, according to the court's online site. He was being held in the detention center without bond Thursday morning, Cahow said.

Wesley Earnest is an assistant principal at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Va. He previously was an assistant principal at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, and left Lynchburg City Schools in 2005.

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