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N.C. man arraigned on 3 capital murder charges in Va. slayings

INDEPENDENCE, Va. (AP) -- A North Carolina man has been arraigned on three counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of a prominent Christmas tree farmer, his son and an employee. Authorities in Virginia said 48-year-old Frederick Phillip Hammer of Crumpler, North Carolina, appeared in General District Court in Independence on Tuesday. Hammer was arrested in Punta Gorda, Florida, over the weekend and is being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail. Hammer is charged in the fatal shootings last week of Ronald Hudler, his son Frederick Hudler and John Miller. Authorities said the men were killed at Ronald Hudler's farm in Mouth of Wilson, just north of the North Carolina border. They said the motive was robbery. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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