May 31, 2024

By Linda Cicoira

A 40-year-old Nassawadox man with prior gang affiliations was accused of threatening to kill his former girlfriend and then set fire to her body.

William Marcel Custis, formerly of Parksley, was denied bond Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court. He allegedly threatened the woman in text messages and is being held in Accomack Jail. Court records did not state when he was arrested or what he was charged with. A court docket for Thursday simply stated the charge was “threat.”

“This strikes me as a volatile situation,” Judge Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. said, adding that Custis was on probation, is a multi-state offender, and a protective order was filed against him last September. “It was a violent threat,” said Lewis. “I just don’t think he is a candidate for bond.”

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The victim came into the courtroom wearing a medical or COVID mask. She was not identified and recently filed a protective order against Custis.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William Fox said she fears for her life. The prosecutor said she and Custis had a lengthy relationship and he accused her of cheating in his messages.

Custis testified that he had not tried to contact her since he’s been in jail.

Fox disputed that claim with phone logs from the Accomack Jail that showed he dialed her number from there.

Another woman, Machelle McDonald, testified that Custis would live with her if a bond was granted. Custis was staying with her when the alleged offense occurred, McDonald said.

Fox said the witness sent messages to the victim through Facebook and others have tried to urge her to drop the charges.

Defense lawyer Carl Bundick said Custis has no obligation to a gang and that he has been in jail since Jan. 29. Bundick said prior offenses are nearly two decades old and a magistrate and deputy have said he is cooperative.

The Eastern Shore native and his friends “will post a higher amount (for bond) if necessary,” Bundick said. He suggested $7,500 to $10,000.

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