Commonwealth v. James Ralph Woods; Guilty Plea in Murder of Girlfriend at Hotel

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that James Ralph Woods, 51 years old, previously residing in the 4400 block of Delco Road in Virginia Beach, Virginia pled guilty before Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan to charges of Second Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm.   The sentencing will take place on October 25, 2011. 

Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proved that on November 22, 2010, James Ralph Woods and his girlfriend, Barbara Ann Nave Allen, had been living together at the Red Carpet Inn on Diamond Springs Road in the City of Virginia Beach.  Shortly after midnight, Woods called 911 and reported that he had just shot and killed his girlfriend.  When officers arrived on scene, Woods told them, “Hey guys, I’m the one you’re looking for.  I’m the one who called. I just shot and killed my girlfriend.” He pointed to the room where the police could find the deceased victim and his shotgun.  Woods stated to the police that the victim was kicking him out of the hotel room and that she had told him to shoot her.  He also told a forensic technician who was taking photographs, “I pulled the trigger. I shot her.”  The track of the gunshot wound to her torso, as well as the track of the shot through the pillows, mattress and wall, show that the victim was reclined on the bed in the hotel room at the time she was killed by Woods.


Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Wendy Alexander and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Christopher M. Baker prosecuted the case.  Please call Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.​