Defendant enters guilty plea for Henry Street shooting

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Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse (Sarah Fearing/WYDaily)
Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse (Sarah Fearing/WYDaily)

Barhamsville’s Marques Raquan Stephens-Graves pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of a firearm by a nonviolent felon in relation to a September 2015 shooting in Williamsburg.

Stephens-Graves, 20, entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution at Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon.  

Stephens-Graves had initially been charged with two counts of firing into an occupied building and possession of a firearm by a nonviolent felon in Jan. 2016.

The case stems from an incident that occurred on Sept. 27, 2015. Williamsburg Police arrived at approximately 8 a.m. to the 900 block of North Henry Street in response to reports of shots fired into an occupied dwelling, according to a police report. 

Residents reported that they had heard shots fired, but did not realize that their house had been struck by multiple rounds until police arrived. No injuries were reported.

According to a criminal complaint, the shooting was gang-related and “in retaliation for actions believed to have been taken by a rival gang.” No additional information regarding gang affiliations was provided in court Thursday.

Commonwealth Assistant Attorney and prosecutor Joshua DeFord told Judge Michael McGinty Thursday that the case started as an investigation into the shooting.  However, investigators found a picture of Stephens-Graves online holding a .38 revolver, which led to the charges of possession of a firearm. 

DeFord also stated in the courtroom Thursday that the plea agreement was reached, in part, because a key witness passed away as a result of an accident. No suspicious circumstances were suspected in his death.

The plea agreement stipulated that Stephens-Graves would plead guilty for possession of a firearm by a nonviolent felon in return for the two counts of firing into an occupied building being withdrawn by the Commonwealth.

Thursday’s guilty plea could carry a prison sentence between two and five years. The prison term will be determined at a sentencing hearing March 17.