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Virginia Woman Takes Man To McDonald’s For ‘Last Meal’ Before Killing Him

Prosecutors say Bronwyn Meeks, Dominic Samuels, and Brennan Thomas lured Dylan Whetzel to his death by inviting him to a party, then drove him to the woods where they shot him at least five times and chopped up his body with an ax. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Bronwyn Meeks Pleads Guilty to Murdering Dylan Whetzel

A Virginia woman has pleaded guilty to luring a 20-year-old to his death after taking him to McDonald’s for a “last meal,” then shooting him in the head and dismembering his body.

Bronwyn C. Meeks, 22, pleaded guilty to more than 30 charges against her Friday, including first-degree murder, murder by mob, abduction and defiling a dead body in connection to the January 2021 death of 20-year-old Dylan Whetzel. His dismembered remains were discovered in a wooded area of Spotsylvania County on February 1, 2021, according to The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

Meeks had been slated to appear Friday for her arraignment, but prosecutors announced they'd reached a plea deal with the 22-year-old, with a recommended sentence 16 to 54 years behind bars. 

Meeks’ co-defendants Dominic Samuels, 19, and Brennan Thomas, 19, are still slated for trial later this year for their alleged roles in the killing.

Samuels and Meeks were reportedly dating at the time of the Whetzel’s death and were alleged to be drug dealers.

In court on Friday, special prosecutor David Sands described in detail how Meeks lured Whetzel to his death after he asked her to stop selling drugs to one of his friends, who had recently overdosed and nearly died as a result.

Sands said Meeks believed she was also going to fail a pending drug test. She texted an unnamed person before the killing saying that if she was going to be sent back to jail, she wanted to “make it worth my while,” the local paper reports.

Meeks, Samuels and Thomas allegedly convinced Whetzel to come out with them the night of Jan. 31, 2021 by inviting him to a party. The group allegedly stopped at a McDonald’s—where Meeks would later tell someone in a text that Whetzel had his “last meal”—and then drove him to a wooded area, where authorities say they pulled him from the car and shot him at least five times.

His remains were discovered by deputies around 10 p.m. on February 1 stashed in four separate trash bags, according to a statement from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects had used an ax to dismember the body, The Free Lance Star reported.

Deputies discovered the remains after receiving a 911 call from Thomas’ grandfather.

Thomas’ grandfather had called authorities after seeing his grandson and another man leave the woods the same night Whetzel disappeared.

In a recording of the call played during an earlier preliminary hearing, the grandfather told the dispatcher that Thomas had allegedly confessed to killing someone. The grandfather went into the woods and discovered the trash bags and a bloody ax.

“Oh, my God. I’m just tripping out,” he said in the call. “What the [expletive] did [Thomas] do?”

Thomas was the first to be arrested in the case, followed by Meeks and Samuels, local station WRIC reports.

In court Friday, Sands also pointed to a series of incriminating text messages between Meeks and Samuels allegedly talking about their involvement in the crime, including one from Samuels that read “I’m a [expletive] up psychopath and you just saw it firsthand.”

In another, Meeks appeared concerned that the group might get caught, writing “We’re [expletive] because everything was done so [expletive] wrong.”

Authorities opted to use a special prosecutor in the case because Meeks’ mother had been in the Spotsylvania detective division at the time of the murder, the local paper reports.

Samuels is expected to go on trial on Aug. 15, while Thomas’ trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 29.

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