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Two charged with robbery, beating victim to death with a hammer in Washington Co., Va.

Two charged with robbery, beating victim to death in Washington Co., Va.

Two men are behind bars, charged in the gruesome murder of a Washington County, Virginia man.

It happened on November 29 at a home on Reedy Creek Road. Sheriff Fred Newman said the motive is clear. It was a robbery. The sheriff said the two men stole an undetermined amount of cash from the victim. But detectives are still figuring out if anything else is missing.

Timothy Carrick and Gary Murray were caught over the weekend and charged with robbery and first degree murder. Sheriff Newman said the pair killed Steven Hafen at his home, last month.

"The individual was severely beaten about the head with a hammer," Newman said.

For more than two weeks, detectives searched for evidence and talked to people in the community.

"It took a lot of legwork, a lot of interviews," the sheriff said. "It's not something that's the ideal way to solve a case."

But now, the sheriff is confident they have things figured out.

"We feel like the victim let the suspects into his apartment, obviously knowing them," he said. "I'm not sure how well the two suspects knew each other -- obviously they traveled in the same vehicle."

And it was tips from the public about that gold pickup truck that helped bring this whole case together. Deputies found the truck and the murder weapon, reportedly tied to the suspects.

"It's very gratifying to have so much good evidence, so early on," Washington County Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Cumbow said. "And that's entirely because we have great detectives."

So while the sheriff's office is winding down its investigation, prosecutors are just beginning to build their case.

"It doesn't come to a close for our office until there's a conviction," Cumbow said.

Both men were arrested in Bristol, Tennessee, so right now, they are in the Sullivan County jail. They will be sent back to Washington County, Virginia.

They could face up to 40 years in prison for robbery and up to life in prison for first degree murder.

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