RADFORD — The last of three men arrested two years ago after a fight at a party and a shooting spree – that hit no one but sent Radford police scrambling to find them – was convicted of two firearms charges.
This past week, Marquay Christopher Lee Alston, 21, of Radford, was found guilty of a felony count of firing a gun from a vehicle in a manner that endangered someone, and of reckless handling of a firearm, a misdemeanor. Circuit Court Judge Joey Showalter scheduled a Jan. 3 hearing to set a date for Alston’s sentencing on those charges and on an aggravated malicious wounding charge for which he was convicted in August.
Alston’s charges, like those against co-defendants Terelle O’Shea Maurice Todd, 22, of Dublin, and Michael Antoine Lassiter, 27, of Smithfield, stem from a series of events that began at a party in the Copper Beech apartment complex on the night of Nov. 9, 2019, and continued past midnight into Nov. 10. There was a fight, then shots fired, then the three men rode around Radford with Alston and Todd shooting a pistol out the window, witnesses and Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak said.
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At Monday’s trial, Radford Detective Austin Cox testified that .40-cal. shell casings were found on the pavement in about six locations around the city. Additionally, 9mm casings were found at the site of the party, Cox said.
Joshua Turman testified that he was at the party on Sanford Street and that there was a fight, then he heard shots and ran to a friend’s Honda Civic. Turman said his friend was preparing to drive and he was in the passenger seat when Alston, Todd and Lassiter crowded into the back. The three men had a pistol and during a journey around Radford, fired shots perhaps 10 times, Turman said.
Turman said he was scared by the gunfire and eventually asked to be let out, then walked home.
The felony charge against Alston had an element of endangerment that defense attorney Robert Canard argued was not met, noting that Turman said Alston fired at a mountainside near the city industrial park rather than at people or toward nearby Interstate 81. But Showalter said that Turman’s fear of the gunfire was enough to justify the conviction.
After Monday’s trial, Rehak wrote in an email that Alston’s aggravated malicious wounding charge came from a fight at the party where Alston punched a man, knocking teeth out.
Lassiter shot at someone at the party and missed, Rehak wrote. In May 2020, Lassiter was sentenced to serve four years behind bars in a plea agreement that brought him eight convictions that included attempted malicious wounding and various firearms charges.
Todd pleaded guilty in February 2020 to shooting from a moving vehicle, shooting in a public place, and reckless handling of a firearm, and received six months to serve.