Year in review: Top crime stories of 2016

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

WYDaily has put together a list of the most-read and discussed crime stories of 2016. Some court proceedings are ongoing for some cases listed here, meaning the accused have not been convicted at the time of this article. The crimes here are listed chronologically. -Ed. 

(From left to right) Tajaddin Daily, Jameka Smith and Derrick Smith are accused of abducting a man and a woman and forcing them to withdraw from the Wawa ATM. (Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
(From left to right) Tajaddin Daily, Jameka Smith and Derrick Smith are accused of abducting a man and a woman and forcing them to withdraw from the Wawa ATM. (Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Two men, woman convicted in robbery, abduction case

Tajaddin Daily, 32, Derrick Smith, 36, and Jameka Smith, 35, were convicted earlier this year in connection with an Aug. 8, 2015 armed robbery and abduction of a Williamsburg couple.

Derrick Smith, Jameka Smith and Daily were arrested soon after a man and his girlfriend reported they had been taken from their Merrimac Trail apartment in the City of Williamsburg and forced to withdraw cash from the Wawa ATM down the street.

Derrick Smith pleaded guilty to robbery and abduction with the intent to extort money on Jan. 21, receiving 80 years in prison with 64 years suspended in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit court.

Jameka Smith pleaded guilty to a robbery charge Jan. 21, and was sentenced June 22 to 25 years in prison with 22 years suspended.

The third man in the robbery, Daily, pleaded guilty to robbery and abduction with the intent to extort money April 13. He received 35 years in prison with 27 years and five months suspended, according to court records.

Read the full story here.

Man accused in April Farm Fresh shooting faces first degree murder charges

Brian Alexander Hicks, 56, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony Oct. 24, months after police say he shot 34-year-old Gabriel Ryan Maness inside the Norge Farm Fresh.

Hicks is accused of shooting Maness, of Providence Forge, multiple times around 8 a.m. on April 17 inside the supermarket at 115 Norge Lane.

When police arrived on scene, Hicks was standing about five feet away from the victim’s body in aisle six, near the middle of the store, police said.

He will face a bench trial in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Feb. 22.

Read the full story here.

Deaf-mute man accused of capital murder to remain institutionalized

A judge’s May 17 ruling will keep a deaf-mute man accused of capital murder institutionalized until he is able to stand trial.

Experts say that day will likely never come for Oswaldo Elias Martinez, 46.

Martinez, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, is accused of raping and murdering 16-year-old Brittany Binger on Jan. 2, 2005, according to documents filed in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.

Martinez, who is charged with two counts of capital murder, was found unrestorably incompetent to stand trial by experts in September 2013. His incompetency is not due to a mental defect, but the inability to understand language, according to Williamsburg-James City County prosecutors.

In a May 17 letter of opinion, Judge William H. Shaw III wrote that Martinez should stay at Central State Hospital, in Petersburg, until his competency is restored — even if that day never comes.

Read the full story here.

John Hinckley, Jr.
John Hinckley, Jr.

Attempted assassin of President Reagan released to Williamsburg

John W. Hinckley Jr., the attempted assassin of former President Ronald Reagan, was released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in September, after spending over three decades in a psychiatric facility, according to news reports.

A federal judge ruled July 27 that Hinckley would be freed from St. Elizabeth’s because he no longer poses a danger to himself or others. He now lives with his mother in Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg.

Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton on March 30, 1981.

The judge’s order limits Hinckley to a 50-mile radius of Williamsburg. He is required stay to out of contact with the media, his victims, their families, the U.S. president and members of Congress. He cannot consume alcohol or possess a weapon.

Read the full story here.

Former W&M football recruit found guilty of raping student

Former W&M football recruit Jaiven Treyvon Knight was sentenced to five years in prison with three years suspended Aug. 22 after being found guilty by a jury of raping an unconscious woman in August 2013.

The sexual assault happened when Knight was attending a party at the victim’s Lafayette Street home in August 2013. Both Knight and the victim were intoxicated.

The Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court jury convicted him in May of raping her while she slept off an alcohol-induced blackout.

In a victim questionnaire, the victim described waking up naked with a stranger on top of her. She later learned Knight’s name through other people.

Read the full story here.

John Lee Johnson (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
John Lee Johnson (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Seven men facing charges in “gang-related” Crust shooting

Seven man are accused in an Aug. 27 shooting outside the Crust restaurant on Richmond Road in Williamsburg.

According to the Williamsburg Police Department, the Crust shooting followed an altercation between two groups inside the restaurant. As shots broke out outside the restaurant, a security guard was hit in the back and hospitalized with a non life-threatening injury.

Police are calling the shooting “gang-related.”

Police believe John Lee Johnson, 22, of James City County, pulled the trigger. He is charged with three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, two counts of discharging a firearm in or at a building, malicious assault causing injury to a victim and gang participation.

Six more men are also charged in connection to the shooting: Travis David-Mark Campbell, 26, Jamel John Young Jr., 23, Dominique Lamar Wallace, 23, Kajoun Devante Johnson, 22 and Eric Ronald Anthony James, 24, are charged with gang participation and maiming by mob. All of the men are from James City County except Wallace, who is from Williamsburg.

All seven hearings in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court are scheduled for Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.

Read the full story here.

Robert Manning Rollins, 55. (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Robert Manning Rollins, 55. (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Case continues on for former assistant coach accused of possessing child pornography

Robert Manning Rollins, 55, was arrested Sept. 15, 2015 after a task force found several images of child pornography in late May that had been uploaded by an IP address connected to Rollin’s home in Poquoson, according to case prosecutors.

He is charged with five counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of possession with the intent to distribute child pornography after police say they found evidence of child pornography on Rollins’ laptop.

A York County Circuit Court judge denied bond for Rollins Dec. 8, describing him as “a threat to the community.”

Police were able to uncover a file named “pics to share,” which had several categorized files containing about 500 child pornography images and two child pornography videos. Some material depicted female children displaying their private parts, while other material showed adult men having sex with children, Maw said.

A circuit court judge granted a request from Rollins’ attorney Dec. 20 for the appointment of a computer expert to search for malware on Rollins’ computer.

Rollins’ trial is set for Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. in the York County Circuit Court.

Read the full story here.

Woman accused of shooting husband Sept. 25

A 32-year-old York County woman is facing charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after police say she shot her husband Sept. 25.

Lynn Fogarty was charged after York deputies came to the home on the 100 block of Burgundy Road in Williamsburg about three minutes after receiving reports of the shooting Sunday. Di Fazio was dead when deputies and medics arrived, and Fogarty was immediately detained, the post read.

She was granted bond Oct. 31, according to York County Circuit Court records.

Read the full story here.

Joshua Samuel Ingros (Courtesy VPRJ)
Joshua Samuel Ingros (Courtesy VPRJ)

Armed ex-con breaks into two Williamsburg homes 

A Williamsburg man was in for a surprise Oct. 9 when he found an ex-convict standing in his kitchen.

According to Greg Riley of the Williamsburg Police Department, 28-year-old Joshua Samuel Ingros of James City County was arrested after breaking into several Williamsburg homes armed with a gun.

One victim said he was in his home when he heard a noise in the kitchen. When he went to investigate, the victim found a man wearing a black leather jacket, black shirt, black pants and a baseball cap standing in his kitchen.

The suspect then asked the victim for a woman who did not live at the location, Riley said. The victim then picked up a knife and chased the suspect from his residence.

Shortly afterwards, Ingros was located by police, placed under arrest and transported to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. He was charged with three felony offenses: Burglary, Firearm Possession by Convicted Felon, and Grand Larceny and two misdemeanors: Obstructing Communication and Brandishing a Firearm.

Read the full story here

Former JCC Republican Committee chair charged with receiving child pornography

Former James City County Republican Committee Chairman Chuck Young, 69, is charged with ten counts of receiving child pornography after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested him at his Williamsburg home Nov. 16.

According to a criminal indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Chuck Young knowingly received material depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The material, in the form of digital videos and images, featured minor male children engaging in actual and simulated intercourse. The records state that Chuck Young was mailed or emailed the pornographic material over several months in 2014.

Chuck Young is scheduled to appear in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Newport News on Feb. 22 for a jury trial, according to court records.

Some James City County residents and WJCC School Board members demanded the resignation of his wife, Sandra Young, from the School Board in the wake of the charges. She has decided to remain on the board.

Read the full story here.

Man pleads guilty to concealing woman’s body in trash can

Forty-eight-year-old Michael Kerlin entered a plea agreement in the York County Circuit Court on Nov. 29 after admitting to concealing the body of a deceased woman in a trash can at the Dixie Fuel Company in Newport News.

Kerlin was arrested May 8 after the body of Michelle Hull was found by Kerlin’s father in a trash can at Kerlin’s company, surrounded by propane tanks, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jacob Lambert said at Kerlin’s plea hearing.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2017 at 1 p.m. in the York County Circuit Court.

Concealment of a dead body is a class 6 felony and carries a sentence of one to five years in prison, or up to 12 months in jail with a fine of $2,500.

Kerlin is currently residing in a “therapeutic community” in a different locality, his lawyer has said.

Read the full story here.

Williamsburg woman sentenced to 5 years for $1.1 mil Ponzi scheme 

A Williamsburg woman was sentenced Dec. 19 to five years in prison and three years of supervised probation after embezzling over a million dollars from friends and others between 2009 and 2015.

Patricia Means, 70, was also ordered to pay over $1,136,862.32 million in restitution to victims of the scheme and the Internal Revenue Service after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering June 13, according to a United States Department of Justice news release.

Means, a retired investment broker, worked in the industry for over 20 years, the release said. Around February 2009, she developed a Ponzi investment scheme for a product called the “Savvy Bag,” a handbag organizer.

According to the release, Means used the scheme to raise funds for the development of the Savvy Bag, going to “substantial lengths to make the investment seem plausible, including having a seamstress make a prototype, setting up a website, applying for a patent, producing bound and printed copies of a brochure containing marketing and advertising information, and sales and profit projections.”

Means spent over $900,000 on housing, casino trips, vehicles and other personal items, soliciting money from various people, including some who had been her friends for a decade or more, the release said.

Read the full story here