BOYDTON — The 28-year-old Costa Rican native who pleaded guilty in February to the murder of Clarksville native A. Shane Wagstaff last summer was sentenced to a 24-year active sentence this week, according to court records.
Gerardo Francisco Chavez-Padilla, who was living in Clarksville at the time of the murder, was sentenced to 40 years, with 16 years suspended, for the murder of Wagstaff, 35.
Chavez-Padilla was also sentenced to five years, with an active one-year sentence, related to an incident that occurred while awaiting trial in which officials at the jail discovered a shank, or homemade weapon, in his possession.
On the night of July 11, 2008, Wagstaff was at a local restaurant when he chose to assist a motorist who was could not leave the parking area because another vehicle was blocking the driveway, officials said.
Court records show that when Chavez-Padilla came out to his vehicle about 10:45 p.m. he was staggering and appeared to be intoxicated. Witnesses said he did not speak to anyone in the area before he got into the Nissan he was driving and rolled the windows down and turned the music up very loud.
Witnesses said that he then left rapidly, spinning tires, and spitting gravel. They said Chavez-Padilla drove the car down 4th Street toward Virginia Avenue, and when the traffic light turned red he abruptly stopped, with the vehicle partly in the intersection.
Witnesses said that when Wagstaff heard the commotion he ran from his location and headed straight for the Nissan, and that Wagstaff yelled at Chavez-Padilla, and that Chavez-Padilla yelled back.
They said Wagstaff leaned into the vehicle and hit Chavez-Padilla several times. Wagstaff then walked away from the Nissan and began to walk back up the street. Chavez-Padilla allegedly then exited the Nissan and ran after Wagstaff with a folding pocketknife and said,“Come on and get some more.”
Witnesses said then Chavez-Padilla stabbed Wagstaff. After the stabbing the witnesses said Chavez-Padilla knelt down on the street, waived the knife around in the air and then ripped his own shirt from waist to neck. In the meantime Wagstaff staggered up the street and collapsed. He died at the scene, officials said.
Virginia medical examiner Dr. Kevin Whaley said in his report that Wagstaff’s heart had been pierced through and the descending coronary artery had been cut. He said the knife entered just below the sternum and traveled upward and into Wagstaff’s heart.
After the stabbing Chavez-Padilla fled the scene in the Nissan and lost control of the vehicle as he drove up Virginia Avenue, crashing into a guardrail at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Lee Street, officials said.
Chavez-Padilla was later arrested with no further incidents with the help of Clarksville Police Officer B. Boring, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia State Police.
Chavez-Padilla was ordered to be on 99 years of supervised probation and to pay $410 in court costs and $3,261.25 in restitution.
Since the initial arrest of Chavez-Padilla, officials have said that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is also interested in him. Danny Fox, Mecklenburg County’s Sheriff, said that ICE contacted his office and filed a retainer with the sheriff’s office allowing the federal agency to take custody Chavez-Padilla upon release or upon completion of any jail sentence he may get.