The trial of a man accused of killing 19-year-old Megan Metzger has been delayed so that doctors can try to determine whether he was sane at the time of the offense, court records show.

David Weston Newton, 20, of Fredericksburg was supposed to stand trial next month in connection with the gruesome slaying of Metzger, who was dismembered after being shot and killed July 17 on Post Oak Road in Spotsylvania.

The mutilation of Metzger’s body was apparently part of a poorly designed plan to cover up her slaying. Newton is now scheduled to be tried July 17 and 18 in Spotsylvania Circuit Court.



Newton’s attorney, Alexander Raymond, argued a motion Thursday to have Newton’s sanity at the time of the offense evaluated. The motion states that Newton has had “significant” mental health issues in the past and was taking a “multitude of street drugs” at the time of the alleged offense.

The attorney wrote that it is not clear how the combination of illegal drugs and mental health issues affected Newton’s ability to control himself that day. The request for an evaluation was granted.

Four people have been charged in connection with Metzger’s slaying, but Newton is the only one charged with murder. Two of the suspects, Keelyn Codynah and Juan Benavidez III, have already pleaded guilty to charges that include accessory after the fact of murder, defiling a dead body and concealing a dead body. Both are scheduled to be sentenced May 9.

Robert Keating, 20, who lives in the home where the slaying occurred, has a trial set for April 3.

According to evidence presented at previous court hearings, Metzger, a Pamplin resident, drove to Keating’s house on July 17 to meet up with Newton. The four suspects and at least two other people were at the home, where drugs were being used.

The evidence showed that at some point, Keating went through Metzger’s purse and found a pretrial services card that he mistakenly thought indicated that Metzger was a police informant. Newton confronted Metzger in the basement and eventually shot her in the face as Benavidez and Codynah looked on, according to court records.

The group then took various steps to cover up the crime, including cleaning up the crime scene and cutting off various parts of Metzger’s body and disposing of them in different locations.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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