Guilty plea given in stabbing of pastor and wife in Sussex Court

A former high school wrestling champion pleaded guilty on June 7 to stabbing a Sussex County pastor and his wife, a crime that left the community outraged.

The elderly pastor and his wife opened not only their hearts but also their home to help to a man they thought needed their help. In return, he stabbed the couple who called him their “grandson.”

Exactly one year after the crime (June 7, 2015), Max Chisholm, 22, pled guilty to five felonies in Sussex Circuit Court related to the crimes against Sussex Pastor Hugh Mayes, and his wife, Carol.

Chisholm robbed the couple of their cash and took their car after a knife-attack left the couple critically wounded. He pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder, breaking and entering, robbery, and larceny of a motor vehicle.

After the crime Chisholm fled in his victims’ stolen vehicle but after a two-day manhunt he arrested during a traffic stop in Richmond. He was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Sussex County jail where he remained until trial. A Richmond Patrol Officer spotted the car and made the arrest.

Chisholm is expected to be sentenced in September. At that time, a forensic physiologist who evaluated the defendant plans to testify about some of the mental problems facing Chisholm, who was born in Russia.

Chisholm was accused of breaking into the home of a Sussex County couple in Yale while they were sleeping, before stabbing the pastor and his wife in the chest and robbing them of approximately $800.

The couple, a year later, are still recovering from their injuries. Pastor Mayes was stabbed in the chest, collapsing a lung. His wife suffered stab wounds to the chest and neck.

Chisholm reportedly stayed with the couple on and off and while his church tried to help the young man who was said to have fallen on hard times.

According to stories from the Midlothian Exchange, Chisholm was adopted when he was seven years old in Russia and grew up in Chesterfield, becoming a champion wrestler in the 106-pound weight class and describing himself as destined for the Marine Corps. He became an American citizen on Sept. 11, 2001.

According to authorities, Chisholm, who had been a standout wrestler who won regional titles and more than 130 matches, had appeared penniless and ragged, walking down railroad tracks near the couple’s home. They felt sorry for him and took him in.

The couple provided shelter, found him a job, bought him a car and put him up at a motel. He worked at a Starbucks at the Davis Travel Center in Stony Creek.

The day prior to the brutal attack, Rev. Mayes told the congregation at Shiloh Baptist Church in Carson that Chisholm had attempted suicide in a Richmond park and had become deeply troubled. The pastor asked for his congregation to pray for the troubled young man. The next morning a neighbor found the couple stabbed.

Teresa Welsh/Independent-Messenger
Rev. Hugh Mayes preaches from his church pulpit before he and his wife were stabbed by a man they took into their home and considered their grandson. Right: Max Chisolm.

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