Six slain relatives buried in Virginia

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DANVILLE, Va. (AP) – Six family members found beaten to death in a rural Pennsylvania home were buried Saturday in the hometown of the eldest victim, the grandmother of the suspected killer.

Hundreds of friends and family members packed a revival-style service at a local funeral home, where the caskets of four adults, a teenager and a child were arrayed at the front of the chapel. Some mourners chartered a bus from New York, where the family lived before moving to the small town of Leola, Pa., where the slayings occurred.

Relatives of Emily Wise, 64, proceeded down the chapel aisle reading Bible verses as everyone stood, clapped and shouted.

While there was no specific mention of the slayings, Rev. Roy Wiles told mourners to “remember that evil is all around us, in your family and in all families.”

Melvin Wise remembered his mother as one who “opened her arms to the poor and needy and extended love to a dying world.”

Wise’s husband, Jessie L. Wise, also a Virginia native, sat in a front pew, and six men dressed in vests and cowboy hats stood solemnly by the caskets during the service. Jessie Wise is a founding member of the Federation of Black Cowboys, a club of horse enthusiasts.

At the end of the service, Jessie Wise placed a toy horse on the small casket of his grandson Chance.

“I’m speechless, really, at this point,” said Morris Terry, a cousin of Emily Wise. “Never in a million years would I have thought this was a family this would have happened to.”

Police say Jesse Wise Jr., 21, killed his relatives over Palm Sunday weekend. The man also is accused of killing his uncle Jessie James Wise, 17; his aunt Agnes Arleen Wise, 43; another aunt, Wanda Wise, 45; and her two children, Skyler Wise, 19; and Chance, 5. All were bludgeoned or strangled, authorities said.

Jesse Wise Jr. is charged with six counts of criminal homicide.

AP-ES-04-22-06 1855EDT

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