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Neighbor says suspect in triple murder punched her in the arm

(WDBJ)
Published: Aug. 29, 2019 at 11:13 AM EDT
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A criminal complaint indicates the suspect in Tuesday's triple murder in Pittsylvania County had contact with a neighbor right before the killings.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia Criminal Complaint, Ms. Jefferson, a woman who lives next door to the murder scene, says 18-year-old Matthew Bernard went to her home on Keeling Drive, punched her in the arm and ran off.

Shortly thereafter, according to the complaint, she heard gunshots coming from next door, and went there to find the body of a woman in the driveway. A sheriff's deputy found the two other victims inside the house.

Sheriff Mike Taylor confirms the victims were 62-year-old Joan Bernard, her 25-year-old daughter Emily Bernard Bivens and 14-month-old Cullen Bivens.

Sheriff Taylor said he does not know a motive and would only say "We're still working on that."

Bernard is in the Pittsylvania County jail charged with killing his mother, sister and nephew.

Copyright 2019/WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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