New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | May 30, 2023

New Kent man receives two-and-a-half year prison sentence for strangling ex-lover

By Andre Jones | May 8, 2023 11:44 pm

A New Kent man who strangled an ex-lover will spend the next two-and-a-half years in prison.

Andrew Gordon Luck, 44, of the 5500 block of Ridgewood Road, received formal sentencing on a single count of strangulation during Monday morning proceedings in New Kent Circuit Court.

During a Feb. 27 contest trial, evidence presented throughout the case showed that New Kent Sheriff’s Office Deputy Schyler Sibley responded to a call for service on Aug. 19, 2022. Upon arriving at the location, he found a victim who was visually distressed and upset. He also found discoloration around the victim’s neck.

After determining Luck was a person of interest, Sibley contacted the defendant, who became non-compliant and refused to meet the officer. Luck was eventually arrested in a neighboring jurisdiction.

Testimony from the victim recounted the events of the day. The victim indicated Luck had told them that he was about to be homeless and then asked if the victim had life insurance. Luck eventually ended up at the victim’s house where the two argued. The victim testified that Luck had gotten on top of them, pushing his hand against their neck and attempting to cover the mouth and nose to prevent the victim from breathing.

Luck testified on his behalf, saying that his son had asked him to come over because the victim had allegedly been drinking. The defendant admitted he shoved the victim but denies strangling them. Luck said he had squeezed the cheek of the victim.

But testimony from forensic nurse Megan Pone said the injury to the victim’s neck was caused by circulation being cut off through pressure. Along with other evidence, Judge B. Elliott Bondurant cited a 2015 case of Ricks vs. The Commonwealth of Virginia, pointing to similarities in that case which was the one he was presiding over.

During Monday’s formal sentencing, Luck said he was apologetic for his actions, indicating he was only trying to help the victim, and that he wanted to repair the relationship. But it appeared the judge didn’t feel that the sincerity was in his comments.

“I listen to you here today and I look at the presentence report, and you said you disagree with the outcome of this case,” Bondurant said. “We heard this case, and the evidence was enough to find you guilty of the offense.”

Luck tried to interrupt Bondurant during sentencing, but the judge silenced him before sentencing him to five years in prison with two years, six months suspended (two years, six months to serve). He must also pay $621.88 in restitution. Luck indicated that he plans to appeal his case.

In an unrelated matter, a Norfolk man will spend a year-and-a-half in jail after agreeing to terms of a plea deal for violating a protective order.

Humberto Gonzales, 48, of the 700 block of W. 27th Street, entered an Alford Plea of Guilt to an amended charge of misdemeanor violating a protective order (originally violating a protective order while armed), and one count each of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon. Three charges of violating a protective order while armed, possession of a firearm while under a protective order and misdemeanor stalking were dropped. An Alford Plea of Guilt indicates that while the defendant maintains his innocence, evidence presented in the trial would be enough to convict him of the offense.

In a summary of evidence, on Feb. 11, 2022, Gonzales was at the Burger King on Emmaus Church Road and attempted to talk to one of the employees. Gonzales, who had been there before, attempted to give the staff member a ring and money. When an officer arrived to investigate the situation, Gonzales attempted to leave before the deputy chased him down. After placing the defendant into custody, a nine-millimeter Glock was found on Gonzales, with a subsequent background search revealing that protective orders had been issued against him in other jurisdictions involving other victims.

Under the agreement, Gonzales received one-year sentences with six months suspended on each of the misdemeanor convictions, for a total of 18 months to serve.