Man dead after woman alleged assault, investigation continues 

Henry County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Green Hill Drive in Martinsville after a Dec. 14 call at 9:58 a.m. to the Martinsville/Henry County 9-1-1 Center

At the scene, deputies spoke with Ashley Lynn Justus, 28, of the home, according to a release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Justus reported that her mother’s boyfriend, Michael T. Purdue, 43, of 966 Dyers Store Rd. was at her home and allegedly became irate.

Justus alleged she was assaulted, struck in the head with a firearm and choked, according to the release.

A man in the home allegedly threatened to commit suicide and fled the home in his vehicle, but returned minutes later. Upon his return, he did not enter the home and left a second time, the release stated.

At 10:15 a.m., deputies located Purdue’s vehicle at his home, located at 966 Dyers Store Road, and attempted to make contact with Purdue, but he allegedly refused to exit the home.

Sheriff’s investigators obtained warrants on Purdue for felony counts of abduction, strangulation, and use of firearm during a felony, as well as a misdemeanor count of assault and batter.

Negotiators from the Sheriff’s Office made continuous attempts to contact Purdue, without success.  Also during this time, investigators obtained a search warrant to enter Purdue’s home. At 3 p.m., a tactical unit from the Sheriff’s Office entered the home and found Purdue deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

His remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia (O.C.M.E) for an autopsy.  The cause and manner of death are pending the completion of the O.C.M.E. autopsy report.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2,500 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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