Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 25, 2012

Man charged in VA hospital shooting pleads guilty

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. —  A Blackstone man has pleaded guilty in a slaying at a Richmond veterans hospital.

Cornelius Hayes faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to a single count of using a firearm in a violent crime causing the death of another person. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson scheduled sentencing for Jan. 18.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped four other charges, including first-degree murder. The government previously decided not to seek the death penalty.

The 55-year-old Hayes fatally shot James Lee in the parking lot of the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Medical Center on Feb. 22. He also was accused of trying to kill another person on hospital grounds, but the attempted murder charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.