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Man sentenced in burglary that involved former Virginia Tech running back

Man sentenced in burglary that involved former Virginia Tech running back


CHRISTIANSBURG — A Harrisonburg man was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for committing a burglary in which former Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes was also involved.

Mashkhal Ibrahim, 22, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, burglary with a deadly weapon and wounding another in the commission of a felony.

In April, Holmes pleaded no contest to a charge that he conspired in the burglary. Holmes, 21, was sentenced to serve two years in prison, with five years of supervised probation upon his release.

According to a summary of the evidence on Tuesday by county Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Jensen, on Nov. 10, D’Wayne Gravely was confronted inside his home on the 800 block of Cambridge Road by three masked individuals.

Gravely has previously testified that one person pointed a gun at him and told him not to move. A struggle ensued, and Gravely said he was struck on the top of his head with the gun and kicked.

Gravely was treated at a hospital for injuries sustained in the altercation, including lacerations on his head that required about 10 stitches, he has said. His medical insurance deductible for the treatment was $250, Jensen told the court.

When the three individuals ran out of his house, Gravely followed them and recorded a license plate number. Gravely later realized that his wallet and some marijuana had been stolen, he has testified.

From the license plate number that Gravely recorded, police were able to identify the vehicle as a 1996 blue Ford Mustang registered to Ibrahim.

Harrisonburg police located the car on Nov. 12, conducted a search and found a pistol magazine and Ibrahim’s cellphone, Jensen said.

No gun has been recovered. Gravely’s wallet was later found on the side of Prices Fork Road in Blacksburg, Jensen said.

On the phone, officers discovered text messages from a number registered to a user claiming to be Michael Holmes. The texts were found to have been sent from a messaging service connected to Holmes’ university email address, Jensen said.

Jensen said that Gravely admitted to selling marijuana to three men including Holmes on the day he was later robbed.

The text messages in the case discuss a “mission” to get money and mention a marijuana buy. The seller, according to the text messages, was a “nerd” living in the basement of the town house by himself. The messages further said the seller “ain’t got no strap,” or firearm, and did not own a pit bull, Jensen has said.

About 5:30 p.m. on the day of the robbery, a message was sent to Ibrahim asking him where he was, and once Ibrahim texted back that he had arrived in Blacksburg, a message from the number associated with Holmes read, “at Maple.” Holmes had lived at the Maple Ridge Townhomes in Blacksburg, Jensen has said.

Jensen said that when first questioned by police, Ibrahim was adamant he had acted alone. Ibrahim said there should have been a pound of marijuana and several thousand dollars in the apartment, Jensen said.

Circuit Court Judge Bobby Turk accepted a plea agreement in Ibrahim’s case, sentencing him to 28 years in prison with all but five suspended. Ibrahim will be placed on 10 years of supervised probation upon release and, with Holmes, must pay $250 in restitution to the victim.

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