Wesley Earnest Murder Home Up for Sale?
Bedford Co., VA - The Forest home where Wesley Earnest shot and killed his wife Jocelyn four years ago may soon be for sale.
The house on Pine Bluff Drive has been sitting vacant since December of 2007, sealed since the day Jocelyn's body was found.
It's been in limbo because under Virginia law, it's unclear who owns the property.
Jocelyn's family is hoping to fix it up and put it on the market. But if it does sell, the funds would be kept untouched for several years, until Wesley Earnest's appeals run their course.
If he's cleared, he retains the property rights. If not, it goes to Jocelyn's family.
Clarence Knecht lives right beside the home once shared by Wesley and Jocelyn Earnest and says he's always admired the house.
"It looks nice, but I don't know what the weather has done to it. We had a lot of work on ours to do just since I've been here," said Knecht.
From the outside, there are obvious signs the Earnest house has fallen into disrepair. The gutters are rusted, the privacy fence has fallen over and the backyard is overrun with vegetation.
"Well it's a shame that a nice house has to go to waste the way it has been. Just sitting there with nobody taking care of it is not doing it much good," said Knecht.
The Honda Accord once driven by Jocelyn still sits in the driveway. Its paint peeling away, weathered by the elements.
Knecht admits he'd like to see it moved. He's excited to learn the empty house could soon be a home again.
"Well it'd be nice to have neighbors. Yeah, some more neighbors would be good," said Knecht.
Technically, Wesley Earnest took over ownership of the property after Jocelyn's death, but her family is suing under the state's "slayer statute', which prevents a murderer from benefiting from a killing.
Their lawsuit also includes the couple's lakefront property at Smith Mountain Lake. The home there mysteriously burned down two years ago.