By Nancy Drury Duncan —
A New Church woman charged with murder and arson was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Both the commonwealth and the defense attorney agreed this was the proper disposition of the case. Kimiko Tenallie Dickerson, 41, was charged with the April 2021 second-degree murder of her uncle 58-year-old Delbert Dickerson and the arson of the home they shared with another man.
When police and firefighters responded to a house fire on Bishop Road, Dickerson admitted setting the fire but said, “I didn’t mean to kill him.” She was treated for burns. Autopsy results showed Delbert Dickerson died from smoke inhalation. Dickerson told officers she heard someone “crawling around in the attic earlier and needed to get rid of them.” She talked sometimes about a girl living in the attic and other times about a “baby python” there. Other times, she talked about things in the basement. The home had no basement. Dickerson said she was smoking and lit the rug on fire and then jumped out the window.
Testimony was that Dickerson was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia at age 26. Defense attorney Garrett Dunham said his client suffers from “acute mental illness” and had been off her medications for some time before the fire. He said she had a history of dangerous behavior and was not taking her meds because of money.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan told the court a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity was the only logical outcome.
“There is no question that you suffer from mental illness that has gotten worse over the last 15 years or so,” Judge W. Revell Lewis III told Dickerson. He ordered her to the custody of the Virginia Department of Behavior Health and Developmental Services. She will not be released without a court order, he said. Judge Lewis set Jan. 26, 2023, for a hearing on Dickerson’s status. “Something hopefully will be done so you don’t run out of medication,” he said.
Malik Javon Johnson, 24, of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. In exchange for this plea, a second felony charge of attempted malicious wounding was not prosecuted by the commonwealth.
On Nov. 13, 2020, deputies responded to a call of gunshots fired at the Community Services Board office in Belle Haven. Deputies saw cars departing at a high rate of speed, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William Fox. A white sedan came close to striking an officer’s car. When the chase continued to Nassawadox in Northampton County, two officers from there followed the car. The car crashed and the driver and a passenger exited the car and ran. A deputy recognized Johnson from previous interactions. He saw Johnson drop a ski mask along with an extended 9 mm magazine.
A K-9 unit was deployed and tracked Johnson to a nearby house. The officers saw one of the cars that had sped away from the CSB office and went to the door where they were allowed inside. They found Johnson hiding in a closet.
A witness who was at the CSB office said two individuals wearing black ski masks approached her and began shooting. When Johnson was arrested, he admitted to being in one of the vehicles and to dropping the mask and the ammunition. Judge W. Revell Lewis III accepted the plea agreement and found Johnson guilty of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He ordered a presentence investigation report and set sentencing for Sept. 8.
Sheena Jackson, age unknown, of Exmore, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor destruction of property and assault and battery in a plea agreement with the commonwealth. She was originally charged with felony breaking and entering.
In the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2021, a deputy responded to a complaint at an Onancock address. The woman there said Jackson came to her house, broke through the door, assaulted her, and took her (Jackson’s) two children, ages 7 and 5. Jackson had been living there with the woman who was a grandmother to her children. The woman had obtained a protective order to keep Jackson away, but the order had not yet been served, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Fox. He said the grandmother has custody of the children and added that the children were in the room watching when Jackson broke through the door and assaulted the woman.
Fox asked that Jackson be given some time in jail. Defense attorney Brandon Matthews told the court Jackson has a job in Pocomoke City, Md., and works six days a week.
Judge Lewis found Jackson guilty of the two misdemeanors. He extended the protective order to July 7, 2024, and sentenced her to 12 months in jail on each charge with 11 months suspended on each. She will have two months of active jail time to serve, which the judge said could be done on weekends. He warned her not to go to the woman’s house and to arrange for another person to pick up and return her children. She is required to be on good behavior for three years.
Joshua Seth Powell, 36, of Parksley, was found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in a bench trial. Police received a call about a domestic dispute at Royal Farms in Onley. Before the officer got there, he received another call from dispatch telling him the location of a firearm. He went to the location, which was near the Virginia State Police barracks in Melfa. The officer found a Mossberg 88 shotgun submerged in a roadside ditch and with a live round inside.
The officer then went to the Royal Farms and spoke with the woman who made the complaint. The woman identified Powell as the man she made the complaint about. The officer asked her to call Powell and ask him to meet her. Powell soon arrived and was arrested. He told the deputy he was under the influence of cocaine and molly when he shot at the woman’s residence. He also admitted to throwing the shotgun out of his car window at the location where the deputy found it.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan told the court he could not prosecute Powell for shooting the firearm because the victim moved from this area and said she could not afford to return to testify against Powell.