Spotsylvania County, Virginia: Three people have been charged with a total of 85 counts related to the murder and dismemberment of 20-year-old Dylan Dakota Whetzel on January 13, 2021.
On Friday, February 4, 22-year-old Bronwyn C. Meeks accepted a plea deal and plead guilty to more than 30 charges that had been filed against her including murder, murder by mob, concealing and defiling a dead body.
As a result of the plea deal, the prosecution has recommended a sentence between 16 and 54 years in prison. Her sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Her co-defendants, Dominic Samuels and Brennan Thomas, both 19, had their trial dates scheduled on Friday. Samuels is scheduled for a jury trial beginning on August 15, and Thomas' trial is scheduled to begin on November 29.
According to the prosecution, Meeks and Samuels were in a relationship, and Thomas was one of Samuel's friends. Together, Meeks and Samuels allegedly were selling drugs.
It was through the sale of drugs that Meeks and Whetzel became known to each other.
Special prosecutor David Sands explained that Whetzel had confronted Meeks after a friend had overdosed on drugs purchased from Meeks. The friend survived, but Whetzel wanted Meeks to stop selling to him.
While the confrontation seemed minor, Sands presented information from texts Meeks had sent showing that she was also upset about a pending drug test that she expected to fail. In texts, she allegedly said that if she was going back to jail, she may as well "make it worth my while."
Under the guise of going to a party, Meeks, Samuels and Thomas picked Whetzel up in North Stafford. They stopped at a McDonald's for what Meeks referred to in texts as Whetzel's "last meal."
The group them drove to a remote area of Spotsylvania where Whetzel was pulled from the car and shot repeatedly.
His body was then dismembered with a cobalt ax and left in four trash bags.
Police became aware of the crime when Thomas' grandfather saw the red Mustang Thomas drove in the area and his grandson coming out of the woods. At that time, Thomas allegedly told his grandfather that someone had been shot.
A text, attributed to Samuels after the slaying read, "I'm a ****** up psychopath and you just saw it first hand."
Meeks commented on the events saying, "We're ****** because everything was done so ******* wrong."
Whetzel's remans were located on February 1, 2021.