Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: June 1, 2013
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: 1986
Victim profile: Danny Ray Richardson, Jr., 34 (her husband)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Alderson, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on June 10, 2014

Woman found guilty, sentenced to life for plotting husband’s murder

June 11, 2014

UNION, W.Va. — An Alderson woman convicted of conspiring to kill her husband received a text message from her lover that read “Time to hunt.”

A Monroe County jury deliberated only a half-hour Wednesday in finding Amber Richardson guilty of both accessory to murder and conspiracy.

She was sentenced to life in prison with an additional one to five years on the conspiracy conviction. The judge offered no recommendation of mercy.

Prosecutors alleged Richardson and Joshua Hubbard conspired to kill Danny Ray Richardson in June 2013. His body was found in a shallow grave and revealed two gunshot wounds.

Richardson testified she only wanted a divorce from her husband, but was pushed further by Hubbard. She said she ultimately did what he told her to do, providing clothes and a sleeping bag for him to use in hiding the body.

The defense rested following Amber Richardson’s testimony.

Amber’s father, James Nichols, told the court he doubted his daughter’s story claiming Danny Ray had simply left. Nichols asked his other daughter to file a missing person report, sensing something was amiss.

Nichols said he knew his son-in-law would never leave the three children Amber and Danny Ray had together.

The jury also saw photos of the husband’s body in decay with a bullet wound in the back of his head. The state medical examiner confirmed bullet wounds to head and left arm, along with facial bruising and scalp lacerations.

The prosecution also showed text messages it claimed proved Amber plotted to kill her husband.

The chilling message that stood out most to the prosecution— “Time to hunt.”—allegedly was sent by Hubbard to Amber before the murder.

Hubbard is scheduled to go on trial for murder later in the year.


Jury finds Monroe County woman guilty of accessory to murder charge

By Tina Alvey -

June 12, 2014

BAGHDAD — Barring a successful appeal, Amber Lee Richardson will spend the rest of her life in prison for helping the man police say murdered her husband.

A Monroe County jury deliberated for only 18 minutes Wednesday before returning guilty verdicts on both of the charges facing Richardson, 26, of Alderson.

The mother of three young children was convicted of conspiring with her lover, Joshua Neal Hubbard, to murder her husband and of providing Hubbard with transportation and supplies, including the gun he allegedly used to commit the crime. That latter charge — accessory to murder — carries a mandatory life sentence, which Monroe Circuit Judge Robert Irons immediately imposed, along with a concurrent one- to five-year term for the conspiracy count.

Noting Hubbard has not yet stood trial on the murder and conspiracy charges on which he was indicted in January, Monroe County Prosecutor Justin St. Clair said following Wednesday’s verdict, “One down; one to go.”

Hubbard, 27, of Roanoke, Va., is confined to Southern Regional Jail awaiting trial for the June 1, 2013, murder of Danny Ray Richardson (called “Ray” by those who knew him).


In the final stanza of Amber Richardson’s two-day trial, jurors heard grim testimony from her father, James Larry Nichols Jr., who lives only two houses away from the Flat Mountain house where his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren made their home.

Nichols told of hearing shots on the evening of June 1 and feeling uneasy about the sequence — four or five quick shots, a pause, then a final report. That pattern, he said, sounded familiar from his days in the military. “Four or five quick ones and then one to finish them off.”

He said when he went up the road to his daughter’s home to investigate, he found only a locked house and a “wet spot” in the driveway.

“I guess I knew what it was; I didn’t want to look too hard,” Nichols said of the spot, presumably blood marking the place where Danny Ray Richardson was shot to death.

Jurors also saw an array of photographs taken by a crime scene investigator in and around the Richardson home in the wake of the killing. The array included grisly photos of the victim’s body, taken just after police discovered the shallow grave in which the remains had been interred, wrapped in a blue sleeping bag.

Assistant state medical examiner Dr. Nabila Haikal showed jurors autopsy photos revealing the massive blunt force injuries criss-crossing the top and back of Danny Ray Richardson’s head, along with a pair of gunshot wounds, one to the left arm and the other, fatal shot — a “through-and-through,” the M.E. said — entering the victim’s upper left eyelid.

Perhaps the most potent evidence presented came from the state’s final witness, Christopher Vance, a former West Virginia State Police forensic analyst who was tasked with retrieving texts and instant messages from cell phones belonging to Hubbard and Amber and Danny Ray Richardson.

Vance showed jurors excerpts from an 18-page report he generated out of that retrieval, representing 610 records — primarily text messages — that formed a time line from May 28, 2013, through the immediate aftermath of Danny Ray Richardson’s violent death.

One of the most chilling message exchanges occurred on the evening of the murder, when Hubbard texted Amber as investigators say he lay in wait to ambush her husband, “Wish me happy hunting,” and she responded, “Happy huntin(g) babe.”


The last person to take the stand Wednesday was the defendant, who said her first encounter with Hubbard was via a telephone call at a friend’s house on March 17, 2013. Two days later, she said, she drove to Roanoke, Va., to pick him up and bring him back to Flat Mountain to serve as a personal tattoo artist for her and several friends and family members, including her husband.

Hubbard, who had honed his tattoo skills in prison, was supposed to stay with Anna Fink, the friend from whose home that initial phone call had been made, but Amber said, “He ended up staying at my house.”

Acknowledging that she soon embarked on a sexual relationship with her house guest, Amber agreed with her attorney’s characterization of the situation as “a love-at-first-sight thing.”

After her father forced Hubbard out of the house, Amber said she was determined to divorce her husband in order to be with her lover.

“I was adamant that I was going to get a divorce,” she said she told Hubbard, who had other plans.

“He (Hubbard) pushed for the murder... said it would be the best way,” Amber testified.

In a nutshell, she said the plan was, “He was going to use my pistol and shoot (Ray).”

Under cross-examination, Amber asserted, “I didn’t want him (Ray) dead.”


During closing arguments, defense attorney Jeffrey S. Rodgers painted his client as being in thrall to Hubbard, saying, “She did exactly what she was told.”

Rodgers said, “The question is, how accountable Amber is going to be held.”

According to the prosecutor, however, the defendant assisted her husband’s murderer of her own free will, not as Hubbard’s puppet.

“Josh Hubbard could not have done what he did without her,” St. Clair said in his closing argument, pointing out that Hubbard not only didn’t own a gun, he had no transportation except what his lover provided. “Josh needed Amber to kill Danny.”

The prosecutor added, “She was part of the planning and part of the carrying out.”

Following the jury’s swift delivery of the “guilty” verdicts and a brief conversation with a weeping Amber Richardson, Rodgers said, “We are disappointed. Obviously, my client will fully pursue her rights to an appeal.”


Both Monroe County murder suspects now in custody

By Jennifer Smith -

June 04, 2013

ALDERSON, W.Va. – A Monroe County woman and her reported boyfriend are both now in police custody and charged with killing the woman’s husband.

State Police Spokesman First Sgt. Michael Baylous said Joshua Hubbard, 27, of Peterstown was arrested without incident on Tuesday.

He had been on the run since Monday when he was last spotted on Flat Mountain Road in Monroe County.

Baylous said Hubbard is believed to be involved in the death of Danny Ray Richardson, Jr., 34, of Alderson.

Richardson was reported missing Monday.

When State Police arrived at the victim’s home they talked with his wife Amber Richardson, 26, and then brought her to the State Police detachment to gather further information.

Baylous said troopers went back to the Richardson home and found Hubbard nearby. When he saw police, he took off running. Richardson’s body was found near where Hubbard had been standing, hidden under a pile of leaves.

Amber Richardson, who investigators said is Hubbard’s girlfriend, was arrested and charged with first degree murder on Monday.

The charges against Hubbard were filed following his arrest on Tuesday.



Manhunt over: Monroe Co. suspect taken into custody

By Annie Moore and Kristen Conner -

June 4, 2013

ALDERSON (WVVA) - Joshua Neal Hubbard has been arrested without incident in Monroe County according to Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police.

Baylous says further details are not being released at this time.


ALDERSON (WVVA) - A woman is behind bars and her apparent boyfriend on the run after her husband was found dead Monday.

The saga began Monday morning at approximately 11 a.m. when Sgt. C.K. McKenzie of the Union detachment of the West Virginia State Police received a report of a possible missing person, identified as 33-year-old Danny Ray Richardson, Jr. from the Flat Mountain Road area of Alderson, Monroe County.

The complainant told police that Richardson had been missing for several days.

McKenzie went to Richardson's home on Flat Mountain Road and spoke with his wife, 25-year-old Amber Lee Richardson, who then accompanied McKenzie back to the detachment to give further information.

Upon returning to the residence later, McKenzie and other troopers encountered a male identified as 37-year-old Joshua Neal Hubbard of Peterstown outside the home. Hubbard fled on foot. Troopers then discovered the body of the missing person, Danny Richardson, buried in a pile of leaves near the area where Hubbard had been spotted.

Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police told WVVA News that Hubbard was an apparent boyfriend of Amber Richardson.

Police say Danny Richardson had suffered an apparent gunshot wound. His body has been sent to the state medical examiner's officer for an official cause of death.

An active search for Hubbard began Monday evening and continued into Tuesday. McKenzie told WVVA News Tuesday morning that the search was centered on the Flat Mountain, Alderson, Ronceverte area.

He is described as 6'2", 210 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Hubbard had been living in the Tad Jones Trailer Park in Peterstown and is said to also have ties in Virginia.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts are asked to contact McKenzie at 304-772-5100, or your local authorities.

Meanwhile, Amber Richardson is behind bars in Southern Regional Jail awaiting arraignment on a first-degree murder charge.


A manhunt is underway in Greenbrier and Monroe Counties.

State police are looking for Joshua Neal Hubbard, 27, in connection to a murder that happened in Monroe County over the weekend.

Hubbard was last seen by authorities on Flat Mountain around 5:00p.m. on Monday.

Troopers say they got a call Monday morning about a missing person. In the course of their investigation, police say a dead body was discovered on a property off Flat Mountain Road in Alderson.

Right now, police are withholding any additional information pending notification of family members.

Anyone with information on Hubbard's whereabouts is urged to contact state police.



Joshua Neal Hubbard



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