By Linda Cicoira — Two men were freed from Accomack Jail about three years ago after being charged with murdering a 22-year-old Horntown man because a prosecutor believed there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them.
Those same suspects were brought back and indicted Monday by an Accomack grand jury for the premeditated murder of Robert Franklin Baytops IV, 22, of Horntown. The crimes occurred Feb. 4, 2016.
Jahad Areil Triggs, 24, of Chincoteague Road in New Church, and Tavone Tyrell Cropper, 28, of Cedar Street in Pocomoke City, Md., were also each indicted on a count of using a firearm in a threatening manner. Investigator Sam Castiglia, of the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), gave information about the case to the jury.
Sheriff Todd Godwin said Triggs is in custody in Maryland. Police are looking for Cropper. The pair were released from jail in April 2016 after former Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Brenner made the decision not to go forward with the charges.
“I thought we had a good case,” Godwin said back in 2016. “They’re out. It’s not our decision whether or not they prosecute. We do the best we can. … We’re not looking for anybody else.”
The sheriff declined to comment Monday but gave credit to Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan and Castiglia for pursuing the charges. Morgan beat out Brenner in an election and gained the top job. He fired Brenner soon after taking office.
More Violent Crimes
Edward Warner “Meatloaf” Byrd, 36, of Airport Drive in Melfa, was indicted on counts of maliciously wounding Quanta Mapp, robbery, and displaying a firearm in a robbery, in connection with March 2018 incidents.
At a preliminary hearing, Mapp testified his five-year-old son got in the car, outside their Seaside Road home near Painter, 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.
The men began asking about money or drugs, the victim continued. “Warner Byrd ordered it. He told him (another of the gunman) to shoot me … I ran away from the car so no stray bullet would hit my son.”
Mapp was shot in the arm. The bullet went through to his stomach, according to testimony. He was also shot in the head. The boy was not injured. 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.” Mapp said Byrd later threatened him so he wouldn’t go to court.
Investigator Chuck McPherson, of Chincoteague Police Department, worked for the ACSO when the incident occurred and handled the case. McPherson said he found four bullets, four bullet casings, and a hat at the scene. The ammo was sent to a lab for fingerprint analysis.
Byrd was also indicted on a count of stealing property valued at $200 or more from Walmart, in Onley, Aug. 28, 2017.
Joseph Paul Mullane, 19, of Waltham Street in Norfolk, Va., was indicted on counts of breaking into the home of Cindy Reed of Chincoteague while armed with a deadly weapon and stealing property valued at $500 or more belonging to Trevor Reed, the homeowner’s son. The crimes occurred Oct. 22, 2018. Deputy S. Lenoff, of ACSO, investigated.
John William Johnston III, 66, of Cattail Road in Mears, was indicted on counts of burglary, abduction by force, and object sexual penetration. The crimes occurred Dec. 29, 2018. The Eastern Shore Post does not print the names of victims of sex crimes. Johnston is being held without bond. The preliminary hearing was closed to the public. Deputy J. Sharp, of the ACSO, investigated.
Bert Like IV, 36, of Main Street in Hallwood, was indicted on a count of rape by use of victim’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness. The crime occurred April 18, 2018. The preliminary hearing was closed to the public. Like has been held without bond since Dec. 20. Investigator Meghan Patterson, of ACSO, handled the case.
Lanaeja Kellam, 20, of Boston Road in Painter, was indicted on a count of maliciously wounding Kailah Custis on June 10, 2018. Commonwealth’s Attorney Beverly Leatherbury, of Northampton, will prosecute the case. Cpl. Kenny Reese, of ACSO, gave information about the case to the jury.
Berlie Roland Colona, 44, of Horsey Drive in Oak Hall, was indicted on counts of January assault and battery of Deputy S. Lenhoff, a felony, and violating a protective order, a misdemeanor. Lenoff investigated.
Ray Ellis Townsend, 61, of Townsend Lane in Atlantic, was indicted on counts of burglary at night of dwelling house of George Brothers and stealing $500 or more. The crimes occurred Nov. 28, 2018. Deputy J. Rose, of ACSO, investigated.
Wilson Thomas Wesley, 40, of Shirley Circle in Parksley, was indicted on counts of making a bomb or burn threat on Nov. 25, 2018, and embezzling money belonging to Mary Rager by virtue of his trust or employment between Nov. 23 and 24, 2018. Kugler
Rickey Ricardo Jones, 59, of Michelle Circle in Melfa, was indicted on counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession with intent to distribute between a half-ounce and five pounds of marijuana. The crimes occurred Nov. 11, 2018.
Dontrelle Marquise Walker, 29, of Rothe House Road in Charlotte N.C., was indicted on counts of felony eluding and possession of cocaine in connection with Jan. 12 incidents. Deputy G. Lewis, of the ACSO, investigated.
Jamir Kuamel Giddens, 29, of White’s Neck Road in Parksley, was indicted on counts of possession of heroin and possession of cocaine in connection with Nov. 9, 2018 incidents. Agent Steve Lewis, of the Eastern Shore Drug Task Force (ESDTF), investigated.
Antonio Marcell Palmer, of Staunton Avenue in Parksley, was indicted on a count of distributing cocaine Oct. 22, 2018. Agent J. Marsh, of the ESDTF, investigated.
Jack Wesley Guemple, 23, of Bennett Street in Parksley, was indicted on counts of possessing cocaine, maliciously shooting at an occupied building, and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute while in possession of a firearm. The offenses occurred Dec. 23, 2018. Deputy N. Kuglar, of ACSO, gave information about the case to the jury.
Kendrell Lee Davis, 29, of Shell Bridge Road in Painter, was indicted on counts of possession with intent to distribute less than a half-ounce of marijuana and possession of a Schedule I or II drug while in possession of a firearm. The crimes occurred Oct. 20, 2018. Sharp investigated.
Keiron Lamar Thomas, 28, of Jefferson Street in Exmore, was indicted on a count of possession of cocaine on Jan. 3. Deputy K. A. Reese, of ACSO, investigated.
William Wise, 44, of Fleming Road in New Church, was indicted on a total of seven counts. Five were for selling cocaine. He was also indicted on counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and possessing cocaine with a firearm. The offenses occurred Oct. 22 and 23 and Nov. 5 and 9, 2018. Marsh investigated.
Jody Allen Munns, 56, of Tyler Street in Crewe, Va., was indicted on a count of possessing methamphetamine on July 2, 2018. Trooper Joshua Schaffer investigated.
Jermaine Ken Ron Newkirk, 36, of Dennis Drive in Parksley, and Clarence Richard Veney, 67, of Parksley Road in Parksley, were each indicted on a count of possession of cocaine on Sept. 22, 2018. Sharp investigated.
Megan Brook Crutchley, 34, of Sunnyside Drive in Melfa, was indicted on counts of possessing cocaine and possessing oxycodone on Oct. 26, 2018. Trooper B. Tripp investigated. She admitted to police that she had consumed a sleeping pill and cocaine, the record stated,
Sejour Richerson. 43, of Daugherty Road in Tasley, was indicted on two counts of possessing child pornography. Records state he showed the pornography via a cell phone to two fellow workers at Perdue Farms, in Accomac, on July 14, 2018. Investigator A.J. Turner handled the case. Richerson has been in the U.S. for 11 years. He does not speak English very well and needs a Creole interpreter, according to court records. Richerson cannot read or write.
Milian Gonzales-Lopez, 30, of Angel Drive in Parksley, was indicted on a third offense of DWI in 10 years, driving without a license, and reckless driving. A blood test showed his alcohol level at .213. The legal limit is .08. Trooper Z.T. Beaver investigated. The court record shows Beaver was dispatched to a single vehicle crash, on Parsons Road, on Feb. 2, and that the driver was Gonzales-Lopez.
Mariah Myshelle Moore, 27, of Main Street in Hallwood, was indicted on a third offense of DUI in five years and driving at 69 mph in a 55 mph zone. The incident occurred Dec. 22, 2018. Six children, ages 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 13 were in the vehicle when Beaver stopped Moore. “Some of the children had no restraints on” according to a checklist for bail determination.
Jeremi Antonio Smith, 22, of Diamond Springs Road, in Virginia Beach, Va., was indicted on a count of eluding police on Dec. 24, 2018. Sharp investigated.
William Custis, of Seaside road in Exmore, was indicted on a count of violating a protective order on Feb. 27. Kuglar investigated.
Dustin Earl Godwin, 31, of Allen Lane in Onancock, was indicted on a charge of breaking into the home of Heather Corbin on Aug. 2, 2018. Corbin testified that Godwin pushed his way into her home, started fighting and knocked her newborn, who was in a nearby bed, to the floor. Kuglar investigated.
Dana Boyer, 34, of Black Mallard Way in Onancock, was indicted on the Dec. 6, 2018, offense of stealing property worth $500 or more that belongs to James Spahn. Deputy B.K. Misener, of ACSO, investigated.
Harry Byrd, no age and address available, was indicted on a count of violating a protective order Feb. 12. Deputy Mike McCready investigated.
Latrell Rashawn Davis, no age and address available, was indicted on 10 counts of welfare fraud that occurred between April 1, 2014, and Feb. 6, 2019. Frances Bailey, fraud investigator for the Accomack Department of Social Services, investigated.