Brothers returned to Virginia to face murder charges in Westmoreland

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Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the two brothers accused of killing a school teacher have been returned back to Virginia where they each face charges of 2nd degree murder, arson, and animal cruelty.

Michael Gardiner, 35, and Demitri Gardiner, 28, are accused of killing murdering Taylor Wood and setting her home in Montross on fire.

When police responded to the incident on November 28, 2022, they also found Wood’s three dogs dead in the house. Hence, the animal cruelty charges.

The Gardiners were apprehended in St. Mary’s County Maryland. Their mother lives in the county, and Demitri is listed as living at the address.

In Virginia’s court case system, Michael’s address is listed as Montross. According to 1st Sergeant B.L. Vanlandingham, Michael and Wood were believed to have been in a relationship before she was killed.

Both men are now being held in Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw. Records show that Michael, who waived extradition was transported from Maryland back to Virginia on December 7.

Demitiri did not waive extradition, allowing him to remain in St. Mary’s custody longer. But on January 18th, he was also transported back to Virginia.

With both men now back in the state, a preliminary hearing has been placed on the docket for March 14 at 10 a.m.

For more details on this case, see the original report here.

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