Southampton County, Virginia (WWI) – Wesley Hadsel met with 10 On Your Side this week at the West Tidewater Regional Jail to discuss his murder trial, conviction and plans to appeal.
Last week the jury condemned Hadsel for first-degree murder and concealment of the body for the death of his 18-year-old stepdaughter A.J. Hadsel back in 2015.
During our conversation, Hadsel claimed he did not kill AJ. He said he plans to file an appeal.
“I wouldn’t put my daughter in someone’s yard like garbage, and I wouldn’t leave her there like that,” Hadsel said.
He stood stoic while court officials read out the conviction.
“I wasn’t going to break down. I am not going to accept this verdict, ”Hadsel said. “I wasn’t going to take it because it wasn’t.”
After more than two weeks of testimony, it took the jury just 41 minutes to convict Hedsel of both charges – unusually quickly in this complex case.
“Their consciousness was 100% resolved before they pondered,” Hadsel said. “There was no point in coming back so soon. It was not an unequivocal case. “
We asked if he was surprised by the verdict.
“It came back so fast, not very much,” Hadsel replied.
It took three years for Hadsell to be charged with the murder of AJ. The case against him was mostly indirect. There was no “smoking gun”. During the trial, the prosecution did not prove how Hadsel gave AJ is the heroine who killed her.
The most serious evidence against Hadsel was the fact that police found AJ’s body by tracing the history of a GPS on Hadsel’s work van a few days after her disappearance.
So how did AJ’s body get behind this house? Hadsel says he has no idea. He only says he was never in that house. Hadsel reveals that the GPS on his work van was removable. We asked him if he thought someone was substituting him.
“There are other things here that I can’t talk about because I don’t know,” he said.
In Virginia, prosecutors are not required to prove a motive in murder cases. This worked in favor of the prosecution in this case because there is no clear motive for why Hadsel killed his stepdaughter. The Commonwealth theorized that the murder could have been sexually motivated. AJ’s body was so decomposed by the time she was found that a forensic examination said we would never know for sure whether she had been sexually assaulted before she died.
Hudsel says this theory makes him very angry, “because they’re trying to make something out of something that isn’t true. I mean, people who know me know I have values. I have morals. This is something I take very seriously. It’s absolutely disgusting that they even tried to establish this connection. “
Hadsel’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 4.
He plans to appeal the verdict.