The 65-year old Union Hall victim who died from a gunshot wound Dec. 3 in an apparent murder-suicide case has been identified as Richard Alan Kettlety.
He will be remembered as “the unofficial mayor of Union Hall” who enjoyed water skiing and cruising on Smith Mountain Lake on his SeaDoo with his two beagles, according to his obituary.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office previously identified the suspect as Elizabeth Schoppert, a 65-year-old white female, also of Union Hall, who allegedly committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The sheriff’s office did not identify the victim, but search warrants reportedly identified him.
According to records from the Franklin County General District Court, the victim and suspect have a legal history.
Kettlety is listed as the complainant against Schoppert, who was charged in 2018 with stalking with fear of death/assault and ringing phone without intention of talking in connection to an incident that allegedly occurred July 1, 2018.
Schoppert was found not guilty on March 21, 2019, of those charges. On the same day, she also was found not guilty to a second stalking charge from July 1, 2018, and a charge of shooting a weapon across the street on Dec. 26, 2018, each from separate complainants.
All of the cases were filed Dec. 28, 2018.
According to Kettlety’s obituary from John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home & Crematory, his friends and neighbors called him “the unofficial mayor of Union Hall.” He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and moved to Smith Mountain Lake (SML) after a 30-plus year career as an engineer at MeadWestvaco in Covington, Virginia. Surviving are his wife of 31 years, three children and two sisters.
On Dec. 4, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office had stated that a 911 call came in just before 5 p.m. Dec. 3 from a woman on Piney Point Road in Union Hall who allegedly stated that she had just killed someone and then hung up the phone.
That was followed by a 911 call from a man allegedly stating that his wife had just shot herself, also on Piney Point Road, and a third call from a motorist on the same road stating there was a man on the edge of the road who appeared to be dead.
Two individuals were located by deputies. Kettlety’s body was found near the roadway, and Schoppert was at her residence a few hundred yards away with life-threatening injuries from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. She died from her injuries.
The homicide investigation is still ongoing.