Police in Virginia have reported that a 27-year-old man who was being sought in connection with a fatal Jan. 10 shooting in Chesapeake turned himself in on Jan. 14. Media reports indicate that the man is the 26-year-old victim’s cousin. The Portsmouth resident faces several charges including shooting into an occupied residence, malicious wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and homicide in the second degree. He faces decades behind bars if he is convicted on all counts. The man is being held at the Chesapeake City Jail.
Officers from the Chesapeake Police Department began searching for the man after being dispatched to a home on Cascade Boulevard Shortly before midnight to investigate reports of gunshots. Once they arrived at the scene, officers say they found a badly injured 26-year-old Chicago man who appeared to have been shot. He subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
Officers determined that the shooting had taken place when an altercation during a gathering of extended family members at the home had turned violent. Family members identified the man as the shooter and told police officers that he had fled the scene. Initial reports do not reveal what may have prompted the man to shoot and kill his cousin.
Individuals who commit crimes in front of several witnesses often believe that they have no choice but to cooperate with law enforcement and confess. Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise them to think again and remain silent. Prosecutors are generally reluctant to argue before juries even when proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt would appear to be relatively straightforward, and they may make generous sentencing offers in return for a guilty plea and a swift and successful resolution. However, prosecutors may be less eager to make concessions if the suspect involved has made a spontaneous confession to police officers.