PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (TCD) -- A 28-year-old man was found guilty last week of killing an artist who was hitchhiking in 2018 and leaving his body in a ditch.
Prince George Circuit Court records show Erick Obando was found guilty Aug. 24 of first-degree murder, robbery, concealment of a dead body, and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with Kenneth Moore's death. He is being held without bail at the Riverside Regional Jail until his sentencing, which is set for November.
Obando, Christopher Crowder, and a juvenile were arrested in February 2018 on charges of first-degree murder and robbery. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the juvenile was 17 at the time of his arrest and has since been identified as Jacob Wadsworth.
Crowder and Wadsworth pleaded guilty in 2019 to charges relating to Moore's death. Crowder was sentenced to nine years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, robbery, conspiracy to rob, concealing a dead body, and conspiracy to conceal the body. A judge sentenced him to 60 years in prison with 51 suspended.
Wadsworth also pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2019 and will spend a maximum of nine years in prison. He will reportedly be sentenced this year.
Sussex County Sheriff Earnest Giles said at the time of the arrest, "It was a random robbery that went bad."
Moore, an artist whose paintings had been shown at the Fredericksburg Art First Gallery, had been hitchhiking to Richmond and was last seen Jan. 11 at a gas station. He reportedly left home with his laptop and phone, but those items were not with him when his body was found.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the night he disappeared, Moore was reportedly drunk at the gas station convenience store and causing a disturbance. Moore allegedly tried kissing Obando, who pushed Moore away. Then, Moore allegedly paid for gas to fill Crowder's car that Obando was driving because he believed they were going to drive him to Richmond, but they drove him to Obando's house in Prince George.
The three men robbed Moore and kicked and punched him, then Obando slashed his throat.
Moore graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University for undergrad and attended University of Mary Washington for graduate school. He was reportedly a talented artist whose work was shown in Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Portsmouth.