Probation violation lands teen from shooting back in court
A Williamsburg-area teen, who prosecutors say set the wheels in motion for a 2008 botched armed robbery in the Lanexa area of New Kent that left another teen dead from a gunshot wound, returned to county circuit court last week on a probation violation.
Judge Thomas B. Hoover revoked all of a six-month suspended jail sentence in the case of John William Chaffin on Feb. 8, almost a year after the defendant’s trial on charges of attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Last March, Chaffin cut a plea deal whereby the attempted robbery count was dropped and the conspiracy charge amended to misdemeanor petty larceny. He received 12 months in jail with six suspended.
County commonwealth’s attorney Linwood Gregory labeled Chaffin, 19, of 132 Wichita Lane, the brains of the attempted robbery. At Chaffin’s trial last March 6, Gregory said the defendant provided information to one of four Williamsburg-area teens that made the ill-fated trip to New Kent the night of Oct. 14, 2008. That information concerned “pillowcases full of marijuana” for the taking, all stashed inside the rental house of reputed drug dealer John Steven Carter at 15600 Pocahontas Trail in Lanexa.
Four teens drove to Carter’s house that night and only three returned. Christopher Greene, 18, who was wielding a shotgun, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Investigators say Carter fired the fatal shot from a .45 caliber handgun as the teens tried to break in to the house.
The three survivors along with Chaffin and another teen were charged in the matter and negotiated plea deals in New Kent court. Carter fled that night, but was captured last March in Alabama. He faces other charges in Florida.
As part of his probation in New Kent, Chaffin was ordered to undergo drug treatment as well as frequent drug testing and report regularly to a probation officer. Gregory told the court on Feb. 8 that Chaffin had been discharged from a treatment program last September for failure to attend regularly. The defendant had also failed to provide urine samples for testing and failed to meet with his probation officer on several occasions, the prosecutor added.
“He has not done well at all on probation,” Hoover commented in revoking the remaining six months on Chaffin’s sentence.
Chaffin, meanwhile, is already serving 75 days for violating probation on a James City County conviction. He also has an upcoming trial on a driving suspended charge.
Thus far, Gregory said, none of the other teens convicted in the incident have incurred probation violations.