NEWPORT Information — Long soon after a man was arrested in the slaying of a very well-known Newport Information dentist in June 2019, a vital problem flummoxed investigators.
What was his motive?
There have been no recognized connections amongst the dentist, 65-year-aged William F. “Bill” Trolenberg IV, and the gentleman accused of killing him, 44-year-outdated Kelly Michael Vance.
Given that Trolenberg nonetheless experienced his wallet and $251 in dollars on him when he was discovered shot to death outside his dental office environment, Deer Park Dental, theft didn’t look to be the reason, both.
“We however really don’t know the motive, and I do not know that we’ll at any time know,” Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn advised the Everyday Push in late 2020.
But beneath a recently arrived at agreement that lessens the felony cost from first-diploma murder to second-diploma, Vance will be required to expose why he killed the dentist.
By early 2021, Trolenberg’s relatives users “were struggling” with the deficiency of closure, Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Lawyer Valerie Spencer Muth explained to a decide Tuesday.
She stated that led prosecutors to give a deal to Vance in June 2021: They would reduce the pending to start with-degree murder demand “if the defendant would clarify why he fully commited this criminal offense.”
Vance rejected that offer at the time, Muth said. But on March 31 — a couple of months before a scheduled murder trial in the circumstance — Vance’s attorney, Assistant Community Defender Andrew Gordon, asked if the offer was nonetheless on the desk.
Prosecutors explained of course, so long as “we speak with Vance ourselves” to choose his veracity, Muth explained.
On April 18, Newport Information prosecutors and police detectives achieved with Vance and his law firm and listened to his tale, which Muth claimed appeared truthful and matched up with other proof.
Below the arrangement, Muth explained, Vance is necessary to lay out “the full motive and accounting for this in open court” — but not till his sentencing hearing on Sept. 2. In the meantime, she reported, prosecutors have shared the motive with Trolenberg’s family members, who are on board with the agreement.
Newport Information Circuit Courtroom Decide Bryant L. Sugg approved the offer Tuesday, with Vance pleading responsible to 2nd-degree murder. He now faces up to 40 a long time behind bars alternatively than a possible everyday living term for 1st-degree murder.
Also at Tuesday’s hearing, Muth outlined the prosecution’s situation in opposition to Vance.
Trolenberg — a retired Air Power lieutenant colonel acknowledged by clients for his form and friendly demeanor — was shot and killed on June 19, 2019 in the parking large amount of his dental business, on Jefferson Avenue in Midtown Newport News.
Surveillance footage shows a gentleman matching Vance’s description arriving at a neighboring business enterprise, Anderson’s Showplace, that early morning. The male is then noticed in the area close to Deer Park Dental around 3:40 p.m. Furthermore, prosecutors claimed GPS monitoring information from Vance’s cellphone assistance puts him at the scene.
At 4:45 p.m. — about 15 minutes in advance of the dental business office closed — the exact same person walked into the office environment and started asking a receptionist thoughts about insurance policies, with the receptionist testifying later that his eyes appeared to be scanning the office.
Trolenberg then walked out of a again place and questioned how he could assist the male.
The receptionist instructed the dentist she was seeking up some info for the gentleman, and Trolenberg returned to what he was carrying out. “He didn’t look to know him at all,” the receptionist previously testified.
The guy grabbed a small business card on his way out the doorway. About 10 minutes later, Trolenberg locked up the place of work, set the protection procedure and ran to his black BMW coupe amid a drenching downpour.
What happened upcoming was captured on a surveillance digital camera from a nearby household.
As Trolenberg backed out of his parking area, the person set his hand on the back again of the BMW, spoke briefly to the dentist, then obtained into the car on the passenger side. A couple minutes later on, the driver’s side doorway opened just as a shot is fired.
Trolenberg fell out of the motor vehicle, onto the pavement.
“He began to crawl a handful of ft toward the rear of the car,” Muth explained. But the other male bought out of the passenger aspect, walked close to the auto and shot Trolenberg again at close range.
The dentist was shot twice in the head.
Trolenberg experienced owned and operated Deer Park Dental because 2001, immediately after retiring as main of general dentistry at Langley Air Force Foundation next a 20-yr job with the armed forces.
In the course of the investigation, surveillance footage from Anderson’s demonstrating the suspected gunman soon led investigators to Vance, a retired Navy submarine technician who experienced retired from the Navy in 2017. Two Deer Park dental employees discovered him in a image unfold as the particular person they noticed in or in close proximity to the place of work that working day.
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On the working day of the slaying, Vance was damp and shaking when he bought dwelling late, telling his girlfriend he experienced been robbed at knifepoint outdoors Newport News Shipbuilding. With his passport stolen, Vance explained to her, he couldn’t fly with her and many others on a planned vacation to Germany the up coming working day.
Police afterwards observed soaked footwear — as properly as a wallet and keys he had said have been stolen in the intended robbery — in the kitchen area garbage can at his girlfriend’s Hampton dwelling.
Investigators also observed in the attic a revolver with two invested cartridges, ammunition, and the backpack, sunglasses and garments equivalent to people worn by the gentleman in the surveillance footage.
Various family and friends attended Tuesday’s listening to, but they declined to expose Vance’s motive for the slaying.
But Trolenberg’s daughter, Natalie Trolenberg, claimed her father would be significantly missed, “and there is a void in our family that can never be crammed.”
“We want to express our reduction about the guilty plea and our longing to recognize why he committed this horrendous criminal offense,” she explained, asking that any individual who has any far more information “to aid us understand” what occurred to contact the Newport News police.
Peter Dujardin, 757-247-4749, [email protected]