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Two men accused of fatally shooting a 26-year-old man in a James City County neighborhood are facing life in prison on capital murder charges.
Jaiquan Keonta Smith, 18, and Terrance Andretti Martin Jr., 20, were each directly indicted in March on a charge of capital murder in the commission of a robbery, which involves the willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of another person during a robbery and is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.
Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green said Wednesday “in reviewing the facts of the case,” he has opted not to seek the death penalty.
Smith and Martin — along with 22-year-old Wilbert McKenley Walker — are accused of shooting Tyler Anthony Cole while attempting to rob him of drugs in the 300 block of Carriage Road in the Ironbound Square Park neighborhood of James City County on Nov. 7.
Cole was found in his car — which he had crashed into a house on Carriage Road — suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to Sentara Williamsburg Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Walker, the third man arrested in connection with the shooting, is facing second-degree murder and is accused of driving Smith and Martin to the scene and waiting while they approached Cole to rob him, court documents show.
All three are being held without bond.
Martin and Smith appeared in court today — Martin through video conference — to receive court-appointed lawyers.
Smith was appointed Tim Clancy, an attorney based in Hampton, while Martin will likely be appointed Newport News-based attorney Robert Lawrence. Green said Lawrence has to make sure there are no conflicts of interest in the case before he agrees to represent Martin.
Both of their trial dates will be set at 9 a.m. April 15.
Walker’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 23 in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.