Woman indicted on murder, two other charges

Frances Moss-Hopkins

Frances Moss-Hopkins

A Berryville woman charged with first-degree murder was among those indicted by a Frederick grand jury on Thursday.

Frances Charlene Moss-Hopkins, 56, was charged with first-degree murder on June 21 after reports say she led investigators to a location where the remains of Peg Sinclair, 85, were found in Romney, West Virginia. Moss-Hopkins was Sinclair’s caregiver and was interviewed when Sinclair was reported missing from her home near Lake Frederick on June 18.

Moss-Hopkins was directly indicted Thursday on two additional charges of willfully defiling a dead body and concealing a dead body, online court records show.

Investigator Alissa Hipple, of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, had testified in Moss-Hopkins’ preliminary hearing on Sept. 30. Hipple read transcriptions of a recording made when Moss-Hopkins was directing investigators around the region for the better part of a day. Hipple read Moss-Hopkins’ statements about “what I did to her body” and statements that Sinclair wasn’t in one piece.

“It’s been tearing me up, what I did to her body to get her in my car,” Hipple read.

The next court date set in Moss-Hopkins’ case is on Jan. 5 for motions.

The owner of a service garage near Winchester was also indicted Thursday on three counts of sexual battery.

Capt. Donnie Lang of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Martin Gavis, a 79-year old Winchester man, owns the Colonial Garage at 175 Lee Ave., which is just north of Winchester city limits.

Lang said three female customers reported three separate incidents to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department between June 2 and Aug. 25, when the women were having their cars inspected at Colonial Garage.

“At some point during the incidents, Mr. Gavis wanted to show them something that might have been wrong with the vehicle,” Lang said. “He, at some point during that transaction, touched their hip, buttocks area and also grabbed their breasts.”

Gavis turned himself in on Thursday, and Lang said he believes Gavis was released on unsecured bond. Gavis’ next court date is scheduled for Dec. 8.

A man answering calls to Colonial Garage on Friday said he could not comment on the indictment.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com.

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