Harry Weaver, 64, appeared Tuesday morning in Sullivan County Criminal Court, then pleaded guilty to several charges. According to Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Kaylin Render, the agreement was reached after consulting with family members of the victim, Kelly Weaver, and will block any eligibility for parole until Harry Weaver would be 115 years old.
It also avoids a potential lengthy trial in which prosecutors were contemplating, in unison with family members, whether to pursue the death penalty.
"It's been very emotional for them," said Render. "They're trying to have some semblance of normalcy with their life, so hopefully this will provide some solace for them and they can remember the good things about Kelly."
On the morning of Feb. 13, Harry Weaver arrived at Kelly Weaver's place of employment, David A. Guy Dentistry in Colonial Heights. According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, seven months prior to the shooting Kelly Weaver obtained a restraining order against Harry Weaver.
During a bond hearing in March, witnesses described how Harry Weaver burst into the dental office waving a gun and screaming, “Kelly, I told you I was going to get you!” He reportedly entered the dental office through an adjoining business where he used to do maintenance work.
Witnesses said he grabbed Kelly Weaver by the hair and tried to pull her to the back of the building. As co-workers attempted to intervene, he shot her then turned the gun on another employee.
“He shot her right in the damn head, right in my face,” Sabrina Steel previously testified. "And then he raised the gun to shoot me.”
Harry Weaver opened fire on Steel, but she was not struck. It was about this time that Larry Seagroves, a carry permit holder who was being treated at the dental office, intervened and pulled his revolver. After shooting Harry Weaver, Seagroves held him at gunpoint until officers arrived.
During that time, Harry Weaver allegedly taunted Kelly Weaver's co-workers: “She’s dead! She’s dead!”
One of the initial officers on the scene was Kingsport Police Department Sgt. Kevin Hite. During a March bond hearing, he recalled entering the office — “It looked like a horror movie" — and finding Harry Weaver bleeding on the floor.
“The first thing he said to me,” Hite said of Weaver, “was he pointed to his forehead and said, ‘Shoot me right here.’ ”
As officers sorted through what occurred, according to Hite, Harry Weaver was angry and exceedingly talkative: “Half wasn't good enough for her. She had to have it all. … You all wouldn’t be dealing with me right now if hero hadn’t stepped in.”
Harry Weaver's gunshot wounds led to him being hospitalized for two weeks. He was then booked into the Sullivan County jail, where he has remained held on $1 million bond.
In August, Harry Weaver entered not guilty pleas to charges of first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, attempt to commit second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. Tuesday's reversal means that just eight months after the murder, Harry Weaver is now headed into state custody.
"To the public, it probably doesn't seem it was done quickly," commented Render. "But in court time, a murder case can drag on for years and years."
Render also acknowledged that the viciousness of the murder shocked much of the public. She hopes the swift outcome serves as a reminder to domestic violence perpetrators that they will be punished — and affirms to the community that such crimes are taken seriously.
"Today is Oct. 29, and it is nearing the end of October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month," said Render. "I think it is appropriate to have such a large and important plea happen."