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Man charged in 2016 homicide case in Henry County

Kenneth Edward Gearheart
Kenneth Edward Gearheart

On August 8, 2016, the Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 Center received a call in reference to a body that had been discovered at an abandoned house located at 5176 Appalachian Drive in Fieldale.

When deputies from the Sheriff’s Office arrived they located the badly decomposed remains lying near the wood line.

Those remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia for an autopsy and to determine the identity.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke positively identified the remains as being Everett Odell Bivins Jr. through the use of DNA analysis. The manner of death was ruled homicide.

Everett Odell Bivins Jr., had last been seen on August 1st, 2016, and he was officially reported missing on August 5th.

We diligently investigated this case but eventually, we stopped receiving leads and tips, Henry County Sheriff Wayne Davis said. Our investigators never let this case rest and relentlessly pursued what information we had. Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester is an invaluable partner to this office and he offered additional resources and invested his time into this investigation.

As a result, a Henry County Grand Jury has indicted Kenneth Edward Gearheart on:

  • Aggravated murder of a witness

  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony

  • Possession of a firearm by a violent felon

Gearhart is currently incarcerated in Keen Mountain Correctional Facility in Buchanan Virginia.

Monday, he was served with those indictments hopefully bringing some level of closure for this family.

In 2019, Henry County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators charged Gearheart with 14 drug distribution charges and he was sentenced to 203 years with 95 years to be served.

Anyone having information about this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff's Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards of up to $2500.00 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.

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