ALDERSON (WVDN) – A Greenbrier County man is lodged in Southern Regional Jail after being charged with the murder of his wife.
Zachary Hess Dawson, 33 or 34 (conflicting reports give his birth year as 1987 and 1988), of Alderson, was arrested on Nov. 25 in Lewisburg after his wife, Marissa Mann-Bennett, was discovered deceased in their home.
According to the criminal complaint, Alderson police Chief Todd Williams was dispatched to Dawson and Bennett’s home at 9 a.m. after Mann-Bennett’s friend called emergency services after finding her unresponsive.
The complaint said Mann-Bennett “had sustained major facial trauma causing the victim to be deceased.”
The complaint also said that “it appeared the subject was thrown through the residence and striking what appeared to be several items in the residence.” Additionally, the complaint stated that Mann-Bennett’s clothes had been changed, and that the basement bathroom appeared to have been cleaned with a cleaning solvent.
“It should be noted at this time that it appeared the fight that took place in the residence continued throughout said residence over a period of time,” the complaint said.
It should also be noted that the complaint refers to Mann-Bennett as Dawson’s “live-in girlfriend” and also as his “wife” later in the report. Court records show the Mann-Bennett and Dawson applied for a marriage license on Sept. 26 of this year.
Mann-Bennett’s friend also told investigators that her vehicle was gone from the home. Officers issued a be-on-the-lookout for the vehicle, and Dawson was arrested while driving her car in Fairlea by West Virginia State Police Cpl. D.P. Dillon.
The complaint said Dillon “observed blood on Zachary Hess Dawson’s clothing, necklace, hands and on the inside of the vehicle.” It also stated that Hess’ phone’s GPS was routing him to hotels near the interstate in Lewisburg.
Dawson was questioned by Williams and state police, and he admitted to striking Mann-Bennett the night before and that morning, and informed officers he “killed his wife,” the complaint said.
The complaint said, “subject stated that after striking his wife he blacked out, and when he came to, he knew that he messed up.” Dawson also admitted to changing her clothes.
Dawson remains lodged in Southern Regional Jail with no bond.
The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Team processed the crime scene.
There was a candlelight vigil for Bennett on Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. at the gazebo at 109 Railroad Ave. in Alderson, across the street from the fire department. Attendees were asked to wear purple to raise awareness of domestic violence.