Plea agreement set in case of fatal Buena Vista explosion

Phillip Westmoreland trial
Phillip Westmoreland trial(WDBJ7)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Prosecutors and the defense have reached a plea agreement in the case of a man accused of involuntary manslaughter after an explosion that killed four people.

A plea hearing will be scheduled in the case of Phillip Westmoreland, according to his attorney, Rob Dean.

A mistrial was declared after trial in September, when a jury failed to reach a verdict against Westmoreland, a fuel driver who delivered gasoline to the South River Market in May 2019.

During the trial, the Commonwealth said Westmoreland overfilled the tanks in the back of the store by 800 gallons during the delivery, which caused the explosion, while Westmoreland’s camp argued the explosion was caused by faulty equipment.

The explosion killed the owner of the store, Roger Lee Roberts, two employees, Kevin Tate Roberts and Samantha Gail Lewis, and patron Paul Dewayne Ruley.