suspect in stabbings

Edward Eugene Snipes

Authorities arrested Edward Eugene Snipes, 55, today in Galax, Virginia, and charged him with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury in connection with a pair of brutal attacks last night off Tucker’s Trail in eastern Orange County. 

Snipes, a longtime acquaintance of the victims, stabbed the victims at their residence last night sometime around 10:30 pm. Lakota Franklin, 22, stabbed several times, was able to escape and run to a neighbor’s mobile home, bleeding heavily from multiple stab wounds. Emergency responders treated him on the scene and transferred him to Duke University for further treatment. He notified responders he wanted them to check on his mother back at his residence. 

Deputies returned to check on Franklin’s mother, 54-year old Jennifer McFalls, and found her dead in the entryway to the home. She had also suffered multiple stab wounds, and there were obvious signs of a struggle.

According to Charles Blackwood, Sheriff of Orange County, “I am pleased we were able to make an arrest in this case so quickly. We were able to develop information that Snipes may have traveled to Galax immediately after assaulting the victims. We issued a Be on the Lookout bulletin, and authorities in that area were able to locate, identify, and arrest Mr. Snipes this afternoon.”

Robbery appears to be the motive for the crimes. Blackwood said, “There is still a great deal of work to be done in this case, but we are pleased Mr. Snipes is in custody. The timeline for Snipes’ return to Orange County depends on the extradition process. We appreciate the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, and The Galax Police Department.”

The investigation is ongoing; more details will be released as they become available. Kyle Borland is the lead investigator. Anyone with any information is asked to call him at (919) 245-2915.