A Virginia woman known for her powerful singing voice was found fatally shot outside her home early Friday in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and her own son is charged in her murder.
Latoya Acree was found in the driveway of her home on Pondoley Drive, the county sheriff’s office said. She was 41 and sang in the band True Soul, which performs in the D.C. area and beyond.
“She was really, really happy,” her bandmate Caesar Roy said Monday. “Seemed like things were just turning around for her, and this happened.”
True Soul had been preparing for a show this Saturday to raise awareness about domestic violence. Now they’ll dedicate their performance to her memory.
Acree’s son, 21-year-old Elijah D. Smith, was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 6100 block of Pondoley Drive, in the Oak Grove subdivision, at about 12:30 a.m. Friday after a report of a shooting.
They found Acree in the driveway with a gunshot wound to her upper body. Medics tried unsuccessfully to save her life.
Smith was identified as a suspect and found at a hotel in nearby Four Mile Fork.
A preliminary investigation revealed “there was a domestic argument that occurred before the shooting between the mother and son,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. No additional information was immediately released.
Roy said he had just seen Acree hours earlier and couldn’t believe the news.
"Obviously God had a better plan, a bigger plan, for her to sing in,” he said.
Smith was held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He had recently been released from jail on bond, awaiting trial on an assault and battery charge. That charge was not domestic in nature, the sheriff’s office said.