Another Sentence in Murder-For-Hire Scheme


By Linda Cicoira — The Parksley area man, who delivered $1,000 to a hired assassin for an attempted hit of an Eastern Shore Drug Task Force informant in 2017, will serve a year in jail for his involvement in the murder-for-hire conspiracy.

Debrandon Pierre Harmon, 30, of Dennis Drive, was sentenced last week in Accomack Circuit Court to five years for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute the drug and 10 years for conspiring to commit capital murder of Nathaniel “Nate” Johnson. All but six months on each term was suspended. The sentences were set to run consecutively. Harmon could have been given 60 years and fined $600,000 for those offenses. 

Harmon was also charged with possession of a gun while in possession of cocaine, capital murder-for-hire, and obstruction of justice. Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan did not prosecute those charges. The defendant was represented by attorney Carl Bundick.

Harmon’s mother, Cynthia Harmon, 53, also of Parksley, admitted to being partners with Evron Terrell Strand Sr., 44, of Nelsonia. Strand was being held in Accomack Jail on cocaine distribution charges and wanted Johnson dead so the informant couldn’t testify against him. Cynthia Harmon admitted to setting up phone calls between prospective hitmen and Strand.

On one occasion, she also handed the phone to her son so Strand could enlist him for the murder. After Johnson and his girlfriend were shot near Painter, the Harmons met one of the hitmen at Walmart to pay him.

In another case, Keith Carver, 54, of Shoremain Drive in Bloxom, was sentenced to a total of six years in prison with all but six months suspended for financially exploiting a mentally incapacitated person last year. 

Carver was allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals the decision. The victim, Ricky Burford, 68, a retired teacher, is related to Carver’s wife, Terry Lynn Carver, 63. Carver contends he was only trying to help the victim when he withdrew a total of $4,800 from Burford’s bank account in May and June 2018. The Carvers live in Burford’s former salon and flower shop, which is near Burford’s home.

Carver said he used Burford’s ATM card to get money out at Royal Farms in Onley and Parksley as Burford instructed. The six ATM visits included multiple withdrawals each time and occurred May 28 and 29 and June 3, 5, 9, and 12. Videos of Carver using the ATM machines were shown during the trial.

Terry Lynn Carver was also charged with the crimes but she has not prosecuted. A doctor found Burford to be incompetent due to progressive vascular dementia on May 15, 2018.

Martinis Drummond, 39, of Doe Crossing Lane in Melfa, will serve seven years in prison for counts of breaking into the homes of Kristen Tapman, Patricia Cherricks, and Beverly Fletcher and stealing property belonging to Tapman, Cherricks, and Mike Smolinski, possession of burglary tools, and receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to a total of 75 years but some of the time was suspended and other terms ran concurrently. Restitution of $12,425 was ordered.

Ramel Jaquan Crippen, 17, no address available, was treated by the court as an adult. He pleaded guilty to stealing a vehicle belonging to Johnny Irvin and felony eluding. The offenses occurred May 29. A presentence report was ordered. Sentencing was set for Oct 24.

Kelsey Elizabeth Kilmon, 33, of Mink Farm Road in Onancock, pleaded guilty to stealing about $2,000 from the office of Tim Valentine, owner of the Club Car Cafe, in Parksley, on Feb. 15. The door to Valentine’s office was locked but the business was open when the crime occurred.

Kilmon admitted to police she broke into the office by sliding a credit card along the lock in the door. Restitution was made. A presentence report was ordered. Sentencing was set for Dec. 19.

David Anthony McCain, 28, of Boston Road in Painter, was sentenced to three years each for obtaining money by false pretense and a third or subsequent offense of petty larceny from Walmart, in Onley, on Sept. 21, 2018. All but three months of the terms were suspended. McCain was put on good behavior for five years. He was ordered to report to jail Sept. 20. 

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