Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 19, 2012

2009 stabbing death: Woman to serve 44 years

TAZEWELL, Va. — A Mercer County woman will serve 44 years in a Virginia prison after being sentenced Friday in connection with the 2009 stabbing death of a 71-year-old Springville, Va., man.

Tazewell County Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Lee said Theresa Yvonne Hartwell, 46, of Bluefield was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to 55 years with 11 suspended in the Aug. 24, 2009 death of Bob C. Bandy. According to Lee, Tazewell County Circuit Court Judge Teresa Chafin’s ruling means Hartwell will serve 44 years in prison and will then serve 11 years probation.

Hartwell originally pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder in 2010 but changed her plea as her trial date approached.

“The defendant had entered an Alford plea — which is similar to a no contest plea — to the charge of murder,” Lee said. “It was up to the judge today to determine the degree of murder, whether that was first degree, second degree or voluntary manslaughter. We presented evidence as did the defense and the judge charged her with first-degree manslaughter. We put on eight witnesses and the defense put on about six and then we argued the case. We asked the judge for a life sentence, and since Hartwell is 46 years old, this is essentially a life sentence. It was a brutal and senseless crime.”

Testimony at trial hearings in 2010 revealed Hartwell and Bandy had met at the Eagles Club in Bluefield and then went back to his home in Springville. At approximately 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009 Tazewell County 911 dispatchers received a call from Bandy requesting law enforcement remove a female from his home. The phone call ended with what sounded like “a crash and what appears to be a moan,” Lee previously told the Daily Telegraph.

A second 911 call came in from a female who told dispatchers there was no emergency at the residence. Officers from the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office were then dispatched to the scene and arrived at approximately 12:18 a.m.

Autopsy results found  Bandy was stabbed a total of 14 times with at least two different knives. A butcher-type knife with an 8-inch blade was also found buried in Bandy’s chest and at least ten other slash wounds were found on his body.

Hartwell was originally charged with capital murder but charges were reduced to first-degree murder in 2009. She was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, statutory burglary, and two counts of grand larceny by a Tazewell County Grand Jury in May 2010.

According to Lee, Hartwell is presently at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Tazewell, Va., but will soon be transferred to the Virginia Correctional Facility for Women in Goochland, Va.

— Contact Kate Coil at

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