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Old 01-14-2019, 07:51 AM
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voiceofreason voiceofreason is offline
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Default Hampton, VA WM, 32 shot to death over $3 drug debt by by 1 of 2 negros


Man killed after being short $3 on drug debt, jury recommends 63 years


Joshua David Williams owed a $20 debt early last year for a rock of crack cocaine.

If he didn’t pay up, he was told more than once, he would be killed.

Williams, 32, tried to come up with the money to pay it back by panhandling outside a Family Dollar, witnesses said.

But a prosecutor said he was only able to come up with $17 — and was still $3 short.

Even though Williams said he’d be getting a disability check the next day, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the men who came to his girlfriend’s apartment one evening to collect the money, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Christopher Young.

“They wanted the money then, and they didn’t get it,” Young said during a closing argument in a jury trial on Friday. “Because of the $3, he’s no longer alive.”

Williams was killed after 6 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2018. He was shot just outside the door to his girlfriend’s apartment, at the Colonial Landing Apartments in the 2100 block of Kecoughtan Road.

He had been shot once in the back of the neck.

On Friday, a Hampton Circuit Court jury found J’Quan Malik Vinston, 21, of Newport News, guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy and a gun charge.

After the verdict, Young asked that jurors recommend Vinston serve life behind bars for the crime.

“That is the correct punishment for someone who does something like this, given the brutality and lack of remorse we’ve seen from this defendant,” he said.

Vinston’s defense lawyer, Nicholas Hobbs, asked the jury to sentence him to 24 years, the minimum for the crimes under law.

Hobbs said Vinston would be 45 years old if he serves that time, allowing for some possible redemption as a middle-aged man.

“He is remorseful over this,” Hobbs said. “I ask that you give J’Quan a chance.”

The jury recommended that Vinston serve 63 years — 50 years for the murder, 10 years on the conspiracy and three years for using a gun in a felony.

A co-defendant, Isaiah L. Smith, 18, of Hampton, goes to trial in April on the same charges. It’ll be the second murder trial in two years for Smith, who was acquitted last year in a separate Hampton slaying from August 2016.

Police didn’t establish who the triggerman was in Williams’ slaying.

The handgun used in the crime was later found in a garbage can at a Hampton home where both Vinston and Smith were arrested. A mixture that included DNA from Vinston, Smith and another person were on the gun, a forensic expert testified.
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