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Murder of Nancy and Kenneth Starnes by Kareem Mitchell examined on The Murder Tapes

Mugshots of Mitchell and Holmes
Kareem Mitchell and Richard Holmes were convicted in the murders of Nancy and Kenneth Starnes. Pic credit: Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office

The Murder Tapes is investigating the double homicide of grandmother Nancy Starnes and her son, Kenneth Starnes, who were murdered during a home invasion of their house in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

The pair were shot dead by Kareem Mitchell as he and his accomplice, Richard Holmes, robbed the house in 2017.

On September 23, 2017, Mitchell kicked down the front door to the home of 80-year-old grandmother Nancy Starnes, where she lived with her son, 58-year-old Kenneth Starnes.

The criminal went into Kenneth’s room and shot him twice with a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Mitchell would later tell the cops that he’d shot at Kenneth because he had seen him reaching for something. He said Kenneth had hollered and fallen backward and that he then “panicked” and shot his victim again as he lay on the floor.

At that point, Nancy called out to her son, causing Mitchell to run into her room and fire his weapon twice at the grandmother. He later told detectives that he had snapped.

Mitchell and Holmes then robbed the home. They stole two vehicles, three TVs, a laptop, and some rifles from the home and then fled the scene.

The bodies were discovered a short time later when Nancy’s grandson, Paul Starnes, went to check on his grandmother and uncle but became suspicious when he saw the cars were missing. He alerted the police, who then made the gruesome discovery of the two bodies inside.

Mitchell and Holmes arrested soon after Starnes’ murders

The police were quick to identify Mitchell and Holmes as the home invaders and Mitchell as the one who pulled the trigger. Holmes told the police that they had just been walking down the street when they decided to quickly rob the Starnes home.

Starnes family members say they believe Nancy and Kenneth were deliberately targeted because they were both disabled.

In 2018, Kareem Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to serve two life terms. Had he not pleaded guilty, the prosecution intended to pursue a capital murder charge, resulting in the death penalty.

Holmes was also charged with first-degree murder despite the police accepting that he had not been the one to pull the trigger. He pleaded not guilty but was eventually convicted and sentenced to 32 years behind bars.

A third defendant, Sharon Galvin, was charged in connection with the case of receiving stolen property and accessory to murder after the fact, but she died in July 2020 before she could be brought to trial, which led to the charges being dismissed.

More from The Murder Tapes

Follow the links to read about more horrific crimes investigated on The Murder Tapes.

In another case of a home invasion turned into murder, Isom Hamilton entered the home of Professor Robert Sharp in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hamilton murdered his victim and then tried to cover up the crime by setting fire to the house.

An argument in a parking lot in Evansville, Indiana, led to Darius Bushrod gunning down Anthony Blaylock in a cold-blooded attack. The murder occurred in the middle of the night, but happened in front of numerous witnesses.

The Murder Tapes airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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