New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 28, 2022

Yorktown teenager sentenced to five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter that occurred in New Kent

By Andre Jones | November 7, 2022 10:07 pm

Jahreese Watson-Ricks

A Yorktown teenager will spend the next five years in prison for leading a high-speed pursuit that killed his passenger in New Kent County.

Jahreese Watson-Ricks, 19, of the 500 block of Arabian Circle, learned of his imprisonment during Monday afternoon proceedings in New Kent Circuit Court.

During an Aug. 22 trial, evidence presented by New Kent Commonwealth Attorney Scott Renick showed that on Oct. 24, 2021, around 12:45 a.m., a Virginia State Trooper noticed a Sedan traveling over 100 miles per hour on Interstate 64 eastbound near the 211-mile marker. When the trooper caught up with the Sedan, they noticed it was racing a Dodge SUV. The trooper observed the vehicle drive on the right shoulder of the road at the 220-mile marker and cut back into the traffic.

The officer initiated emergency equipment to signal the vehicle to pull over, but the Sedan accelerated to 130 miles per hour by mile marker 213 and to 140 miles per hour when it exited abruptly at mile marker 227 into James City County. The vehicle turned left and reentered New Kent County via Route 30.

Once in New Kent, the Sedan accelerated to 100 miles per hour once again, running a red light at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 33 before heading westbound on Route 249. The vehicle had reached 120 miles per hour when the driver lost control and wrecked into the tree line just after passing Paige Road. The officer was able to arrest the driver at 1:02 a.m. and returned to the vehicle. Upon inspected the car, they found a passenger who was suffering from internal bleeding. The passenger, identified as 17-year-old Rony’A Antoinette Belscher, was airlifted to a local hospital. Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to her injuries on Oct. 25. Belscher was the girlfriend of Watson-Ricks at the time of her passing and the defendant’s arrest.

Watson-Ricks received a 10-year sentence with five years suspended (five years to serve) on the involuntary manslaughter conviction. All five years on both the destruction of property conviction and felony eluding of police conviction were suspended.

In other circuit court matters:

–Mark Winston Cannon Jr., 29, of Hampton, entered guilty pleas to DUI (third or subsequent offense within five years) and an amended charge of misdemeanor DUI driving revoked (originally felony DUI driving revoked) as part of a plea agreement.

In a summary of evidence, at 2:27 a.m. on Apr. 12, a Virginia State Trooper observed a vehicle unable to maintain his vehicle in a lane. After initiating a traffic stop, the officer approached the driver, later identified as Cannon. The trooper noticed signs of intoxication and conducted a field sobriety test. The defendant failed the test, with a subsequent toxicology test revealing a blood-alcohol content level of 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit. Cannon was arrested on the charge, with a subsequent background search revealing that he had been arrested on the same charge twice within the past five years.

Under the agreement, a presentence report is being prepared with guidelines recommending a term of one month to one year, 11 months. However, under state law the defendant must serve a minimum of six months. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2023.

–Janet Marlene Castle, 46, of the 200 block of Seagull Court, Richmond, entered guilty pleas to one count each of possession of a Schedule I/II drug (methamphetamine), misdemeanor receiving stolen goods, and misdemeanor driving suspended.

In a summary of evidence, on Apr. 17, a New Kent deputy was patrolling the Love’s Truck Stop when they noticed a suspicious vehicle. The officer ran the license plate of the vehicle, which did not match the car’s identification. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified Castle by her driver’s license. The defendant said the car wasn’t hers and that the license plates were from a different vehicle. It was determined by the officer that the car was stolen, and Castle was taken into custody. A search of a pink purse belonging to the defendant discovered needles inside with a substance, later identified as methamphetamine.

Under the agreement, Castle received a five-year jail sentence with four years, six months suspended (six months to serve) on the possession of a Schedule I/II drug conviction. All 12 months on both misdemeanor charges were suspended. She must pay $750 in total fines and also enroll in the Real Life Program as part of her plea deal.

–Michael Crawley, 43, of the 6100 block of Adkins Road, Providence Forge, entered guilty pleas to an amended charge of DUI (third or subsequent offense) within five years (originally DWI- fourth or subsequent offense within 10 years) and misdemeanor driving suspended. One charge of misdemeanor refusing to take a breathalyzer test was dropped.

In a summary of evidence, a police officer pulled over a driver after noticing erratic driving. When the officer approached the vehicle, they noticed a strong odor of alcohol. The operator, now identified as Crawley, was taken into custody on suspicion on driving under the influence. It was also later determined that he was driving suspended.

Under the agreement, Crawley received a five-year sentence with three years, eight months suspended (one year, four months to serve) on the DUI conviction. All 12 months were suspended on the misdemeanor conviction for driving suspended.

–David Kenneth Eaton Jr., 34, or Richmond, pled guilty to a single count of distribution of marijuana greater than one ounce but less than five pounds as part of a plea deal.

In a summary of evidence, on Feb. 11, a Virginia State Trooper operating radar clocked a black Kia Optima traveling 99 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone. A traffic stop was initiated, and the driver was questioned. The officer noted two roaches in the center console and asked the driver and the passenger, who was later identified as Eaton, if there were any other illegal items in the car. Eaton informed the officer that there were additional items in a backpack that belonged to him in the back seat. When the officer searched the bag, he discovered green plant-like material, plastic bags, two scales, and $3,206 in cash. Eaton was arrested and charged with the crimes.

Under the agreement, a presentence report is being prepared with sentencing guidelines recommending a term anywhere from one year, 11 months to three years, two months. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2023.

–Monica Rae Marquez, 54, of the 15000 block of The Gleve Lane, Charles City, entered a guilty plea to a single count of possession of a Schedule I/II drug (methamphetamine) as part of an agreement.

In a summary of evidence, on June 8, a New Kent deputy patrolling the intersection of Route 60 (Pocahontas Trail) and Route 155 (Courthouse Road) noticed a vehicle pull out into the road from The Happy Shopper without coming to a stop and looking for oncoming traffic. The officer executed a traffic stop and the defendant told the officer that she had a pipe she used for methamphetamine in her pocket. The item was sent to the state lab where it was confirmed to have the illegal substance.

Under the agreement, Marquez received a five-year sentence with al ltime suspended.

–Robert Allen Martin, 32, of Sandston, entered guilty pleas to two counts of carnal knowledge with a 13-14 year-old without force. An additional charge of carnal knowledge and one charge of indecent liberties with a minor age 15 or under was dropped as part of a plea deal.

In a summary of evidence, a New Kent deputy responded to a call for service related to an alleged sexual assault on a juvenile. The case was turned over to a detective, who was able to determine that Martin had interactions with a minor on Apr. 1 and Apr. 29. While there were no allegations of force, evidence pointed that Martin and the victim were in an relationship. When Martin was questioned about the incident, he admitted to the crimes. A mental examination determined that while the defendant was competent to stand trial, he had an intellectual disability.

Under the plea agreement, Martin received a 10-year sentence with eight years, four months suspended (one year, eight months to serve) on the first charge of carnal knowledge. All 10 years on the second charge were suspended.

–Lauren Nicole Mathias, 38, of the 2800 block of Diascund Reservoir Road, Lanexa, entered into a plea agreement by pleading guilting to one charge each of possession of a Schedule I/II drug (cocaine) and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. One charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon was dropped.

In a summary of evidence, on June 17, a New Kent deputy executed a search warrant on the residence the defendant was renting. During the search, cocaine was discovered on the defendant and .42 calibur bullets were located in a drawer in the defendant’s bedroom. Because Mathias had been convicted on a felony charge in the past, she is not allowed to keep the ammunition or have any around her.

Under the agreement, Mathias received a five-year sentence with three years, nine months suspended (one year, three months to serve) on the possession of ammunition conviction. All 10 years on the possession of cocaine charge were suspended.

–Shyheim S. Morgan, 21, of the 3000 block of Hanes Avenue, Richmond, and Ogunshoye Sampson, 21, of the 5700 block of Bondsor Lane, Richmond, both entered no contest pleas to an amended charge of misdemeanor distributing marijuana less than one half ounce (originally distribution of marijuana greater than one-half ounce but less than five pounds). A no contest plea means that evidence presented in the trial would be enough to convict the men of the crimes.

In a summary of evidence, on May 21, an officer was able to find incriminating evidence against Morgan and Sampson, who had the illegal substance on them. A scale was also on scene, linking them to the distribution of the marijuana.

Both men received a 12-month jail sentence with all time suspended on the conviction. However, each of them must pay a $1,000 fine.

–Franklin Jose’ Cahuec Xitumul, 21, of the 1600 block of Treehaven Drive, Richmond, entered a guilty plea to one count each of possession of a Schedule I/II drug (cocaine) and misdemeanor possession of a concealed weapon as part of a plea deal.

In a summary of evidence, on June 10, a Virginia State Trooper traveling on Route 60 (Pocahontas Trail) noticed a red Mustang drift into their lane. The vehicle slowed to 35 miles per hour in a posted 55 miles per hour zone, with the officer hearing the exhaust pipe emitting loud noises and viewing damage on the vehicle’s lights. A traffic stop was executed and Xitumul was identified as the driver. The officer noticed white powder in the vehicle and a subsequent search recovered a small bag of white powder later identified as cocaine. Xitumul was arrested, and upon searching the defendant, brass knuckles were recovered from the front pockets of his jeans, triggering the concealed weapon charge.

Under the agreement, the defendant will enter into the First Offender Program. If Xitumul successfully completes it, the possession of a Schedule I/II drug will be dismissed. He must serve 15 days in jail on the misdemeanor carrying of a concealed weapon conviction, with the other 11 months and 15 days suspended.