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Preliminary hearing set in February

Jeffrey Scott Easley was arraigned Friday on a charge of abducting 12-year-old former South Boston resident Brittany Mae Smith, according to Roanoke County Public Information Director Teresa Hamilton Hall.

The arraignment took place in Roanoke County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Roanoke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Leach will proscute the case and was in court for the arraignment.

During the brief court appearance, Easley requested a court appointed attorney, Hall said.

After an exchange of financial information, Judge Philip Trompeter granted Easley’s request.

Thomas Roe Jr. will serve as Easley’s court appointed counsel, Hall said. Roe was in court with Easley for the hearing.

Easley is scheduled to return to court in February for a preliminary hearing.

Judge Trompeter set a preliminary hearing date on the abduction charge for Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. in Roanoke County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Hall said.

Easley faces a felony abduction charge in Roanoke County for abducting the 12-year-old and fleeing with her to San Francisco.

He also faces felony counts of attempted credit card fraud and credit card larceny in the City of Roanoke for using Smith’s mother’s credit card in a Salem Walmart.

Tina Smith, Brittany’s mother, was found dead in her Fort Lewis home on Dec. 6.

Roanoke County Police continue to actively investigate the death of the 41-year-old former South Boston resident.

Although Easley has not been charged in connection with the death, authorities say they consider him a suspect in Smith’s murder.