Nottoway murder case returns to court

Published 4:46 am Monday, September 26, 2022

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Christopher Michael Rowan returns to court this week. The 32-year-old Crewe resident will have a review hearing as he faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, first offense in Nottoway. 

The charges stem from an incident that happened Thursday, June 2 of this year. The Nottoway Sheriff’s Office was called out in response to shots being fired at a home in the 3000 block of West Courthouse Road in Nottoway. Deputies and a Blackstone police unit arrived and found 27-year-old Bryan Barber dead inside. 

Rowan, who lived at the home, was taken into custody at the scene and charged with Barber’s murder. He was formerly employed with the Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad.

As for why it’s taken so long to move forward, it’s taken time to hand out subpoenas and prepare the case. Since the arrest, court records show nine people have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the case. The preliminary hearing was originally scheduled for Aug. 10, but got continued until this Wednesday, Sept. 28. 

Nottoway County Commonwealth’s Attorney Leanne Watrous declined to comment on the case itself, as it’s still ongoing. However, she did point out that it’s not uncommon to see changing times and dates in a case like this. 

“It is worth noting that if someone is in custody, the hearing may take place at a different time,” Watrous said. “(That depends) on whether the person appears in person or via video and the jail’s video hearing schedule (and) availability.”