Evan Tyler, 18, who was a juvenile when the incident took place last January, pleaded guilty in York-Poqouson Circuit Court to charges of second-degree murder, attempted robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting into an occupied dwelling and attempted statutory burglary while armed with a deadly weapon.
The maximum penalty for all charges is 73 years in prison and $300,000 in fines. The sentencing guidelines recommended about 14 years on the “low end” and about 24 years on the “high end.”
Tyler’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2 and is expected to take up to three hours.
In a presentation of evidence, Commonwealth’s Attorney Ben Hahn said York-Poquoson sheriff’s deputies arrived at 4 p.m. Jan. 27, 2015 to a home in the Whispering Winds neighborhood following a 911 call reporting shots fired.
Deputies found 17-year-old Dylan Peters with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.
An investigation found that Tyler and two others, Tevin Lambert and Alphonzo Jackson, had discussed robbing Peters of drugs and money the morning of Jan. 27. Tyler and Peters had a brief conversation around 3:45 p.m. outside the home before Peters “jumped back” inside and attempted to hold the door shut, Hahn said.
Tyler then fired five shots through the door, Hahn said. All five hit Peters, with the fatal shot penetrating his heart.
Hahn said Tyler later admitted to the murder, provided details of how he killed Peters and said he intended to resell the drugs.
According to the criminal complaint, 21-year-old Lambert “knowingly provided his back pack to [Tyler] to carry away the loot from the robbery.” He was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea deal.
Lambert received a 10-year prison sentence Tuesday with seven years suspended.
He was also sentenced on convictions of robbery and use of a firearm in a separate incident that took place in September 2014. He will serve three years for the use of a firearm and no time for the robbery, as the court suspended all 20 years of his sentence.
During his argument, Hahn pondered whether the murder would have occurred if Lambert had been apprehended sooner for his involvement in the September robbery.
“The fact that his friend gets caught has no effect on him to deter him from future conduct,” Hahn said, referring to the juvenile co-defendant who pleaded guilty to the robbery and was sentenced last year. “You can’t ignore the prior event that serves as a foundation leading up to that.”
Before announcing his decision, Rizk asked how Lambert, who had a clean record up to the two incidents, could have gotten himself into a situation where he was providing a gun for a robbery.
“You’ve seen firsthand now what happens when people commit robberies. People get killed. People die,” Rizk said.
Jackson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.
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