21-Year-Old Radford University Student Charged with Second-Degree Murder, Killing Another Student

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A 21-year-old female Radford student charged with second-degree murder in which a student was found stabbed to death Thursday morning – Radford’s first murder charge in eight years, the city prosecutor said.

According to a report from the Radford Police Department, Police were dispatched at about 7:45 a.m. to the 1200 block of Clement Street and arrived to find a dead woman with multiple stab wounds.

After an investigation, police arrested Luisa Ines Tudela Harris Cutting, of Jeffersonton, in Culpepper County, age 21, and charged her with second-degree murder.

Cutting is scheduled for an arraignment Friday at 1 p.m. in the Radford General District Court.

Alexis Cannon was listed as the slain woman on the arrest warrant. Similar to Cutting, Alexa Cannon, as her friends called her, was a student at Radford University.

According to a search warrant, reported by The Roanoke Times, A dispatcher could hear a woman shouting “and making reference to a knife.”

It was said that when police came to the apartment, they were faced by a woman covered in blood. She said “Arrest me” as she put her hands behind her back and turned around, said the search warrant. The woman then said “I killed her,” when a police officer asked what was going on.

The weapon was a butcher knife, as stated in the search warrant.

Cutting’s name was on the lease of the apartment where the incident took place, said on the search warrant.

Caitlyn Scaggs, Radford University’s associate vice president for university relations, said in an email that Cutting now is on interim suspension, and privacy laws prevented Scaggs from saying whether the suspension was a result of the murder charge or pre-dated it.

Hemphill sent this message out to the Radford University community:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Earlier today, the Radford University Police Department distributed a message to students, faculty and staff regarding an off-campus incident that occurred this morning. Without question, this is a difficult day for our campus and our community. The days and months to come will also be difficult as we extend our deepest sympathies, as well as our thoughts and prayers, to the family and loved ones of our student, who is not being publicly identified at this time.

Radford University is a close-knit community and one in which we take great pride in the many connections and strong relationships we develop as we live, learn and work within our inclusive and supportive community. These qualities are cornerstones of our University and embody the role we have played for more than a century.

I encourage all students, faculty and staff to utilize the counseling services that are being provided. In talking with others and sharing our hopes, dreams and fears, we find comfort in knowing we are never alone. At difficult times like this, it is critical that we come together as one Radford family and continue the great work that is occurring each and every day on our campus as we honor those we have lost.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.
President

Hemphill sent out another email to faculty and students Friday, saying:

Alexa was pursuing a degree in psychology and was planning to graduate next May. She was very involved on campus and was a proud member of several organizations. Like every Highlander, Alexa had a full life ahead of her, a life poised to make a great impact on those she would have encountered, the career she was pursuing and the communities in which she would have lived. Please join me in expressing the Radford family’s deepest sympathies and lasting condolences to the Cannon family and all of those impacted by Alexa’s passing and this inexcusable and heinous act.

The Radford University Police Department sent a message to the campus community, letting them know about available counseling services:

Please be advised that this morning there was an isolated incident that occurred at an off-campus location. There was no immediate threat to campus or the broader community. This incident is under the jurisdiction of the City of Radford Police Department and is being handled accordingly.

Due to the nature of the incident, which resulted in the death of one of our students, grief counselors will be available both today (Thursday, January 24, 2019) from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM and tomorrow (Friday, January 25, 2019) from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the
lower level of Heth Hall. The counseling services are being coordinated through the Division of Student Affairs.

This is a tragic moment for our campus community and the Radford family. During this difficult time, we ask that you provide support to your fellow Highlanders.

The Latino Student Alliance at Radford University also sent out a message on social media, saying their condolences on losing a member on Thursday:

It is with deepest condolences that we share with the Radford University and Latino Student Alliance Community the news of the passing of one of our members. LSA embraces the values of Friendship and Family, so know that your concerns are ours as well. If you would like to express your feelings over the matter, please consider contacting counseling services thru Student Affairs. At this moment, on behalf of family and friends, we request that any information you may have, you handle with the utmost discretion.

In a past Tartan article which came out in October, The Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner, it refers to Cutting as President of the Latino Student Alliance.

In a picture posted on Cannon’s Facebook page in July, Cannon complimented Cutting with becoming president of the Latino Student Alliance. It also said Cannon was a psychology major at Radford.

Anybody with any information is asked to contact the Radford City Police Department at 540-731-3624, or email crimestoppers@radfordva.gov.

Photo Credit: Radford Police Department (Luisa I. Cutting show in the image)

*This article originally published on The Tartan*

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