Blacksburg carjacking case that adopted Salem homicide provides 5 years to jail time period | Crime Information

A Montgomery County judge sentenced Zane Chandler Christian on Monday to serve five more years in prison, to be added to the 26 years imposed in February in a Salem murder case.

The 26-year-old Christiansburg man was arrested in November 2020 after shooting Rico Turner, 27, the fiancé of Christian’s estranged wife. The slaying happened in a Salem parking lot during a custody transfer of Zane and Emily Christian’s young children.

According to accounts given during Zane Christian’s hearings in Salem, he was upset because his child support payments were raised. Christian keyed his wife’s car. That prompted Turner, who was there with his 5-year-old son, to shove Zane Christian to the ground.

Zane Christian then shot Turner.

In Salem, Christian pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and two counts of firing into an occupied vehicle. He was sentenced to 43 years in prison, to be suspended after he served 26 years.

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The Montgomery County case stemmed from Christian’s flight to Blacksburg after the Salem confrontation. In a summary that Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt released after Monday’s hearing, she said that a woman reported that she had parked her car at the University City Mall and was preparing to go work out at the Weight Club when a man wearing a mask opened her door and said, “Get out of the car.”

The man showed the woman a pistol that was tucked into his waistband. The woman asked if she could keep her phone. Told that she could, she got out of the car. The man gave her a set of car keys and said, “You can have these,” Pettitt recounted.

The man then drove off in the woman’s car. The keys he gave her were to a nearby BMW that was registered to Zane Christian.

Christian was arrested the next day in Jackson County, West Virginia. He later confessed to the carjacking, Pettitt said.

On Monday, Christian pleaded guilty to carjacking and use of a gun to commit a felony, and a charge of grand larceny was dismissed. He was sentenced by Judge Robert Turk to 18 years in prison, to be suspended after serving five years.

The five years are to run consecutively to the Salem sentence, Pettitt noted.

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