VIRGINIA

Central Virginia homicides drop 4.5 percent in 2013

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Homicides in Central Virginia are continuing to decline.

Figures compiled by the Richmond Times-Dispatch show there were 84 homicides in the region in 2013, compared to 88 in 2012. The victims included a Virginia State Police trooper.

The number of homicides in the region has declined seven of the past nine years. Eleven of the region's 21 localities had no homicides in 2013.

The newspaper says 63 of last year's victims were killed by firearms. Five victims were fatally stabbed, four died of blunt-force trauma, three were asphyxiated, two drowned and one died of a drug overdose. Three infants were fatally shaken. The causes of death for three other victims haven't been released.

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