Husband charged with murder

By STEPHANIE A. JAMES

Staff Writer

Sylvester M. Cheatham has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife Arnita Cheatham.

Cheatham, 49, was a previously described as a person of interest in her homicide after she was found dead at the Executive Inn hotel in Madison Heights on Aug. 2 after being reported missing to the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office the day before.

A medical examiner determined that Arnita Cheatham, who is an Appomattox native, died from blunt force trauma to the head. Hotel employees discovered her body.

After about almost two weeks of searching for Sylvester Cheatham, authorities arrested him in Wilmington, N.C., last Wednesday and brought him back to Virginia on Friday.

“The detectives in Wilmington were a great help in locating Mr. Cheatham and the vehicle and have spent a number of man hours assisting us on this case, and we are very appreciative of their help,” said Capt. GP Higginbotham of the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office in a press release.

When he returned to Amherst, he was arrested on warrants for grand larceny and murder in the first degree.

Pending an advisement hearing in Amherst General District Court, Cheatham is being held at Blue Ridge Regional Jail without bond.

Arnita Cheatham’s Hyundai Sonata was recovered at the time of Cheatham’s arrest at the Econo Lodge in Wilmington, NC.

Those with any information regarding the murder is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. There is a $1,000 reward for information regarding the crime.