The cases involving four people connected to the grisly murder and decapitation of 19-year-old Megan Metzger last summer won’t be resolved until next year.

Robert Keating, 26, Keelyn R. Codynah, 24, and Juan Benavidez III, 20, have all pleaded guilty for their roles in the post-murder attempted coverup following the slaying of Metzger on July 17 last year in Spotsylvania County.

All three were scheduled to be sentenced in Spotsylvania Circuit Court on Tuesday, but those sentencings were postponed until Feb. 24.

The three are possible prosecution witnesses against the accused killer, 21-year-old David Weston Newton. Newton’s murder trial was postponed last month after his former attorney, Alexander Raymond, learned he had a conflict of interests and had to be removed from the case. Attorney Amy Harper is now representing Newton.

Newton’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 12–14 in Spotsylvania Circuit Court. The other sentencings were pushed back in part because their cooperation with the prosecution could have an effect on the amount of time they will serve.

According to evidence presented at earlier hearings, a group of people had been using drugs at Keating’s home on Post Oak Road in Spotsylvania when Keating went through Metzger’s purse and found a pretrial services card that he mistakenly thought indicated she was a police informant.

Metzger was later confronted by Newton, who witnesses said had invited her to the home. Witnesses alleged that he then shot her with a gun that was later recovered in Maryland.

A convoluted plan that included severing the victim’s head, fingers and toes was then hatched. Parts of her remains were found a couple days later in King George County and some were in her vehicle that had been set on fire in Westmoreland County.

Prosecutor Jeff Adams also agreed to delay a trial for Laura Denekas, 33, who was scheduled to plead guilty to a drug offense Tuesday. Denekas is not charged in connection with the Metzger slaying, but was at the home when Metzger was killed and may be called as a prosecution witness.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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