The West Virginia man charged with murder in the shooting death of a former acquaintance last March has been found competent to stand trial.
Dale Lee Wright has been incarcerated since shortly after the March 17, 2019, shooting of Bluemont resident Jeffrey B. Evans. He faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The shooting occurred in a gravel parking lot off Rt. 7, just west of the Clarke/Loudoun border. Testimony provided during a December 2019 preliminary hearing indicated that Wright and Evans had agreed to meet in the parking lot that morning for Wright to introduce Evans to someone who was selling an antique trailer. Evans, 72, was the owner of Lenah Auto Service in Aldie, where Wright at one time apparently worked. Testimony revealed that the two men had been friends since the 1980s. According to investigators, Wright would admit in an interview with them two days after the incident that he shot Evans, but claimed it was in self defense. After he was shot, Evans attempted to drive off the lot, but crashed after turning onto the highway. He died at the scene.
According to Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anne Williams, Wright has passed a mental health evaluation and is competent to stand trial. He will next be in Clarke County Circuit Court on Oct. 5 for a suppression hearing. His defense counsel has indicated they will be filing a motion to suppress within the next 30 days. Details of that motion were not immediately available.