Lafon denied parole for 1991 murder conviction

The Virginia Parole Board has denied the release of a 51-year-old Giles County man convicted in the 1987 murder of a Virginia Tech student. Last week, the board issued a statement in the murder case of John David Lafon who had received a single life sentence.

The board said that a release at this time would diminish the seriousness of the crime, and we conclude Lafon “should serve more of his sentence prior to release on parole.”

Lafon was charged with murder and abduction of 19-year-old Meredith Mergler whose body was found at the bottom of a well a year after her disappearance.

According to police reports, Mergler had gone missing sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday, August 30, 1987 after leaving a restaurant in Blacksburg.

She was supposed to have met a fellow student later that day to travel to their parents’ homes in Northern Virginia but never appeared.

In October of 1988, a Giles County landowner discovered a well head on his property had been partially covered by a concrete slab. He looked into the well and spotted a body that would later be identified as that of one, Meredith Mergler. Her body had been exposed to a high concentration of lime.

Lafon was arrested in 1991 and convicted a short time later.

–Staff reports


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