On February 12, 1985, Pruett went to the home of his friends Richard and Wilma Harvey.1 Richard Harvey was out of town, and Pruett stopped in, ostensibly to check on Mrs. Harvey. Pruett chatted with Mrs. Harvey for several minutes. When the paperboy came to the door to collect, Mrs. Harvey paid him from a grey cashbox. Upon seeing Mrs. Harvey take money from the cashbox, Pruett formed the intent to rob Mrs. Harvey. Mrs. Harvey and Pruett continued to talk until she said that she needed to get ready to go to church. Pruett asked for permission to use the bathroom.
While in the bathroom, Pruett decided that he “wanted some sex” and “told himself ‘well go do it.’ ” He went upstairs and told Mrs. Harvey that he “wanted some sex.” At first Mrs. Harvey refused, but Pruett drew a knife that he had brought with him and forced her to submit. After he raped Mrs. Harvey, Pruett bound her hands and feet and used a sock to tie a gag over her mouth. Pruett then stabbed Mrs. Harvey several times and cut her throat open. The medical examiner counted twenty-nine stab wounds in all, several of which would have been fatal alone. The Supreme Court of Virginia did not articulate a reason for the initial stabbing, but found that Pruett cut Mrs. Harvey’s throat when she tried to kick him while he was stabbing her. See 351 S.E.2d at 13.
After he killed Mrs. Harvey, Pruett ransacked the house looking for money. He took all the money that he could find, including the money in the grey cashbox. He then disposed of his blood-soaked clothes and the knife. Mrs. Harvey’s body was discovered on her bed by relatives the next day.
On February 14 the police interviewed Pruett twice. During the first interview at 1:00 a.m., Pruett admitted visiting Mrs. Harvey, but denied any knowledge about the killing. In response to a question about whether he had any idea of who might want to kill Mrs. Harvey, Pruett stated, “I can’t understand it. I, I can’t feel that anybody could.” He also said that he was more anxious to find the killer than the police were and that he would take a polygraph test. After the police discovered that Pruett’s fingerprints had been found on the headboard of Mrs. Harvey’s bed and on her eyeglasses, they again questioned Pruett. Pruett confessed to robbing, raping, and killing Mrs. Harvey, and he also confessed to robbing and killing Debra McInnis in 1975, a friend he knew through working at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Teacher found stabbed to death at home (scroll down a bit)
David M. Pruett v Charles Thompson 1993 (habeas corpus)
Virginia man executed for rape, murder
Man dies for murder of boss’s wife
Murderpedia: David Mark Pruett
Local woman to appear on ‘Happily Never After’
Happily Never After: Wedding Bell Blues