File photo courtesy WDTV

Joseph Spencer, 17, and his attorney appeared in Doddridge County Circuit Court.

WEST UNION, W.Va. — A Doddridge County teen accused of killing three of his family members will plead guilty to the crimes.

Joseph Spencer, 17, was scheduled to be in court on Monday but a plea hearing has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Spencer is expected to plead guilty to three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his father Frederick Spencer III, 49, his mother Dixie Spencer, 47, and his 9-year-old sister Patience Spencer on Labor Day 2012.

The boy was 16 at the time of the shootings and reportedly told police officers he used his father’s 9mm handgun in the shootings before calling 911.

Spencer is facing the charges as an adult.

Spencer’s father was a longtime UPS pilot, while his mother was a Ritchie County Middle School science teacher. Spencer’s younger sister was a student at Doddridge County Elementary School.

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  • chasmo

    Rob : you say NO to capital punishment but yet our state supports abortions ??? Go figure that one !

  • Equal punishment

    Let him die.


    The punishment should fit the crime.

  • Not So Grumpy

    I don't have a problem with the death penalty. I prefer life with no chance of parole. Why? Because this kid not breathing is not as torturous as him being locked up for the rest of his life. He will know each and every day what his schedule will be. It will never change. Plus being 17 he will be looking over his shoulder all the time.

    • Artie Smithers

      I agree with you 100%. I used to be in favor of the death penalty but then as I got a little bit older I realized that sitting in a cell, contemplating the fact you had no future, day after day, year after year, thinking of all the things you didn't get to do or never would get to do, is a greater punishment than death.

  • Rob

    Everyone's so quick to jump on the death penalty these days. Will another murder by the state really amend this crime? I know it saves the taxpayers, but two wrongs don't make a right. Send them to a Labor Camp and lets get some roads and bridges fixed.

    • Truthmeister

      I am so weary of the "two wrongs don't make a right" and the classic "capitol punishment is murder" arguments because the premise is a comparison of apples-to-apples. Facts in this case: the family members where innocent (apple); the murderer confessed and his guilt is beyond doubt (orange). His crime is taking innocent life without justification whereas the State will take a non-innocent's life with overwhelming reason. That is the difference, innocent life versus guilty innocent life takers. If you can't see the vast difference, then there is no hope for you and this debate is a waste of time.

    • WVMom

      He killed his family!!!! He cannot be trusted in a labor camp. Maybe you would change your mind if he killed your family instead of his own innocent family. He does not deserve to take another breath even if he is mentally ill.

  • grif

    what a shame WV doesn't have the death penalty. this scum doesn't deserve to live

  • Hillbilly

    It is a shame we don't have ol'e sparky at Moundsville any longer ,the liberals took care of that .

  • chasmo

    Capital Punishment !! Nothing else is correct this individual