By Linda Cicoira — Quanta Mapp’s five-year-old son got in the car on an evening in March 2018 and popped the trunk so his father could place a kerosene container inside.
Mapp heard shouting over his shoulder and said he turned to find three men pointing guns at him. “They were masked,” said Mapp, who lives on Seaside Road, near Painter. The men began asking about money or drugs, Mapp testified in Accomack General District Court Monday. “I’ve been at my job for seven years with Tyson,” he said, explaining he was not connected to such activity.
When he didn’t comply with what they wanted, “Warner Byrd ordered it,” Mapp said pointing to defendant Edward Warner “Meatloaf” Byrd, 36, of Airport Drive in Melfa. “He told him (another of the gunman) to shoot me. I seen the boy he told to shoot me. That’s when he started shooting at me. I ran away from the car so no stray bullet would hit my son.”
Substitute Judge Robert MacDonald found probable cause to certify charges of malicious wounding, robbery, and use of a firearm in a felony to a grand jury.
Mapp first got shot in the arm, with the bullet going through to his stomach. Then he was shot in the head, the victim said. His son was not injured. It was unclear which of the three shot Mapp in the arm. Mapp said he knew the men by their voices and denied figuring out who they were based on rumors he later heard.
Mapp testified he was able to get inside his house when the men ran out of ammunition. “He started shooting at my house and shot me in the head,” he said of Byrd. “I thought I was dead. My son was still in the car.”
Before that, he had told the three he knew who they were and “they revealed themselves,” Mapp testified. He named Byrd and James Ernest Logan, another suspect, and said he did not know the name of the third man. Mapp also testified that when he first spoke to police, he was too concerned about his health to think about naming the gunman.
Later, Byrd texted Mapp, the witness said. Mapp did not recognize the number because they were not friends, only acquaintances. “It came out of nowhere,” Mapp said of the phone number. “He was trying to threaten me” not to go to court.
Steve Lewis of the Eastern Shore Drug Task Force said he used the same phone number, which texted Mapp with the threat, to contact Byrd on March 24, 2018.
Mapp admitted when Byrd came to his mother’s property at Woodland Mobile Home Park, near Accomac, on March 24, 2018, he shot at Byrd. “That did happen … I got shot in the head by this man … he came on private property. When I was getting robbed by him I knew that was him,” Mapp said.
Investigator Chuck McPherson, of the Chincoteague Police Department, worked for the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office when the incident occurred and handled the case. He said he found four bullets, four bullet casings, and a hat at the scene. McPherson said the ammo was sent to a lab for fingerprint analysis.
Defense lawyer Garrett Dunham did not present any evidence but he argued for the charges to be dismissed. “We have a situation where the only evidence is from Mr. Mapp (who is) clearly an unreliable witness,” Dunham said. The lawyer wondered how Mapp could recognize their voices if they were not friends and complained Mapp did not tell police the names right away because he did not know who the gunmen were.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan argued Mapp had been through “a significant amount of trauma.” After getting the text, “I’m going to finish your a-s-s. … yes, Mr. Mapp shot at Mr. Byrd. He’d already been shot in the head by Mr. Byrd,” said Morgan.
“Obviously, it’s an issue of weight and an issue of credibility,” the judge said, adding, “He does have an explanation of his condition.”
Logan, 35, of Woodland Park Avenue in Accomac, was indicted in August 2018 for the same crimes. A jury trial for Logan is set for April 18. Both men are inmates at Accomack Jail, in Accomac.
MacDonald also found probable cause to certify a count of grand larceny against Byrd to the grand jury. The offense occurred Aug. 28, 2017, at Walmart in Onley and involved a car amplifier and clothing. Byrd was found guilty of failure to appear in December for a court appearance. He was fined $100 and sentenced to 10 days in jail.