A Roanoke man facing three felonies from a shooting last year maintained his innocence but entered into an agreement with prosecutors on Monday.
Raymond Antione Massey pleaded no contest to malicious wounding and to having a firearm as a felon and got a five-year prison sentence, which will be suspended after he serves two.
He has already served 17 days toward the charges and will have to begin serving the remainder on Friday.
Massey, 42, initially had been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, which in Virginia can bring up to a life sentence, plus felony gun possession, which carries a mandatory minimum of two years. Through his agreement, prosecutors dropped a third charge of use of a firearm in a felony, which would have brought him an additional three years behind bars.
At Monday’s hearing, assistant prosecutor John McNeil said the charges came after a chaotic June 21, 2020, brawl at an apartment complex in the 2000 block of Indian Village Lane Southeast. McNeil said two women were fighting and someone set off fireworks.
During the altercation, Ibrahim Kromah was wounded by a single gunshot and was hospitalized. The bullet did not hit any organs and doctors were able to remove it, McNeil said, adding that Kromah has since recovered.
Although security cameras caught footage of Kromah on a dirt bike at the scene, and an SUV allegedly used by Massey, the shooting itself was not captured on video, and McNeil said issues arose in obtaining testimony from the two witnesses: “Getting them to court would’ve been a challenge.”
Defense attorney James Cargill cited bullet holes in the SUV in question, which he said “would’ve been a significant self-defense argument to present at trial.” But he also pointed to the potential risks his client faced in taking an aggravated malicious wounding case to a jury.
Massey spoke on his own behalf and decried recent violence at the apartment complex, including multiple shootings and homicides. He claimed he had gone to the fracas because he knew that two of his stepchildren were present.
“I just went so I could be a peacemaker and get my kids out of there,” he told Judge Onzlee Ware.
“Take the time to ask yourself ‘What could I have done differently?’” Ware advised him.