New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 1, 2020

Driver involved in $112,000 robbery in Charles City sentenced to 13 years in prison

By Andre Jones | August 21, 2020 5:00 pm

A Dinwiddie man who drove the getaway car for a $112,000 robbery in Charles City will serve 13 years in prison after receiving formal sentencing during Friday proceedings in Charles City Circuit Court.

Stephen Hunter Martin, 31, of the 8200 block of Vaughan Road, will serve two five-year sentences on use of a firearm in commission of a felony (second offense) and three years on one count of use of a firearm in a felony (first offense). Twenty years each on two charges of robbery, 20 years on one count of robbery with the use of a gun, and 10 years on a lone count of armed burglary were all suspended.

During an Oct. 11, 2019 trial, testimony presented at the trial indicated that on Oct. 15, 2018, Tyron Allen and Jeremy Martin broke into the home of Don Bulger. During that heist, the two men held a group of elders hostage. Jeremy Martin went upstairs and forced one of the victims to open a safe.

As the duo began to leave the house, Jeremy called Stephen Martin, who was waiting in a nearby business parking lot. Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Tyler presented evidence that the phone that was called actually belonged to Jeremy, which meant someone was in possession of the phone after forensic evidence showed that the call was answered near the location of the business parking lot. That person was identified as his brother, Stephen Martin.

After Stephen Martin picked up the duo, they fled back to Dinwiddie to count up the money, which was determined to be $112,000. On Stephen Martin’s personal phone, pictures of the money were discovered after an investigation, with additional testimony at the trial revealing that the Martin brothers had spent some of their money to pay off past dues for the union they were involved in.

Under state statute, even though Stephen Martin was not involved with the physical acts of the robbery, his affiliation and knowledge of the crime resulted in his convictions and his time to serve in prison.

In other circuit court proceedings:

–Anthony David English, 27, of the 11000 block of Greenyard Estates, Providence Forge, entered a guilty plea to a single count of petty larceny (third offense) as part of an agreement. One count of petty larceny (third offense) was dropped as part of the deal.

In a summary of evidence, on Jan. 4, a pickup truck was captured on the property of Nathan Crowell during the early morning hours. A nature trail camera captured video of both the truck and two individuals taking plywood from the premises. Authorities used video evidence to view the license plate of the vehicle, which later came back to English. The defendant admitted to his crime, with further information revealing that he had been convicted of two similar offenses in Charles City.

Under the plea agreement, English received a five-year sentence with four years, eight months suspended (four months to serve). He must also pay restitution in the amount of $650.

–Terrell Jovon Johnson, 35, of the 8800 block of Samaria Lane, Providence Forge, entered guilty pleas to one count each of DUI maiming and misdemeanor DUI (second offense) as part of a plea deal. One charge of felony hit and run, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and misdemeanor driving after forfeiting a license were dropped as part of the agreement.

In a summary of evidence, on Oct. 17, 2019, Johnson was at an outing with a friend when he jokingly said he was going to take the vehicle while his friend’s girlfriend was sleeping inside. Johnson, who was intoxicated at the time, got into the car against his friend’s wishes and drove the car from the outing. As he returned to the outing, the vehicle sped up and the defendant loss control of the vehicle, crashing it into a ditch and severely injuring his friend’s girlfriend. When officers arrived, testimony discovered that Johnson was indeed intoxicated and the driver of the vehicle.

A presentence report is being prepared with formal sentencing for Johnson scheduled for Nov. 5. Sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence range of nine months to two years, two months to serve.

–Charles Lloyd White, 48, of Providence Forge, entered a guilty plea to one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

In a summary of evidence, on Feb. 3, a car was taken from the victim, whom White was related to. White admitted he had taken the car and went to pick up a pack of cigarettes without receiving permission of the owner to use the car.

Under the plea agreement, no formal finding was made as the defendant will enter into The Counseling Center. Upon successful completion of the program, his charge will be reduced to misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle.