Man found guilty of shooting estranged wife, killing her boyfriend
Joshua Federico

By Vernon Freeman Jr. and Jake Burns, WTVR

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A Chesterfield man has been found guilty of first-degree murder and six additional charges in the shooting of his estranged wife and killing of her boyfriend last summer.

Commonwealth Attorney’s Scott Miles said the prosecutors had “proven beyond all doubt” that Joshua Federico shot Sarah and killed her boyfriend Lawrence Howell in August of 2018.

Howell’s remains were found days later in a burn pit on Federico’s farm where a prosecutor said he used tires to basically “cremate” the body.

Miles pointed to emotional testimony from Sarah, who is now paralyzed from the shooting. Sarah testified that she woke up August 23, 2018 and watched as her boyfriend Lawrence Howell staggered into the house, collapsed and died.

Moments later, she said her estranged husband Joshua was in the house and fired one shot, hitting her in her right arm.

Sarah testified that Joshua said he wasn’t going to kill her, but that he was going to make it look like she and Lawrence had shot each other by making her scratch his face and fire a gun with her left hand.

A short time later, she said she was shot again. It was just after 3 a.m. When Sarah said she ran out of the house and made her way to a neighbor. While on the neighbor’s deck, she was shot in the back.

Miles told jurors that if they believe Sarah, then Josh is guilty of all eight felonies, including Howell’s murder.

The defense cross-examined Sarah Federico, asking “why she didn’t shoot Joshua when he handed her a gun,” and asking her about the different caliber shell casings found inside the home.

The defense presented a pre-nuptial agreement signed before their 2012 wedding listing Joshua’s assets at nearly two million dollars. Sarah’s was just under 40 thousand.

During closing arguments, Defense Attorney Paul Gregorio called Sarah Federico a cheater and a liar who was trying to exploit Joshua for money.

Gregorio also said on multiple occasions that “physical evidence does not lie — but people do.”

MORE: Chesterfield man found guilty of shooting estranged wife, killing her boyfriend - WTVR