Salisbury teen gets 20 years in Virginia murder

Published 11:50 am Friday, January 12, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. — A former teen gang member from Salisbury was sentenced Wednesday to serve 20 years in prison for fatally shooting and trying to rob a Chesterfield County man in a botched drug robbery, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Jamaria S. “Chop” Crawford, who was 16 at the time of the Nov. 1, 2016, killing, testified at his sentencing hearing in Chesterfield Circuit Court that he was very sorry for his action, the paper reported.

Crawford, now 18, told the court that since he’s been incarcerated, he’s earned his GED and had plans for the future, according to his attorney.

“He apologized to the (victim’s) family and said he’s been giving counsel to his younger siblings on not to go down the road that he had chose to go down,” attorney Russ Stone told the Times-Dispatch.

The defense also provided evidence that Crawford had a troubled past that involved being sexually abused twice as a child and seeing the grandmother who raised him suffer physical abuse, the paper reported.

Circuit Judge David E. Johnson sentenced Crawford to a total of 53 years in prison with 33 years suspended on convictions of second-degree murder, felony use of a firearm and attempted robbery in the slaying of Jon-Eric R. Schwarz V, 30.

Crawford was identified as the gunman, but he received a lower sentence than co-defendant Darrius A. “FreshyBeatz” Ellis, 22, a former Chesterfield resident who had moved to Salisbury. Ellis  reportedly devised the plan to drive to Chesterfield to find someone to rob and urged Crawford and two other teen defendants to come along.

The others were Daeshun Raquon Hargrave of Spencer and Najee Tariq Palmer of East Spencer.

The four defendants targeted Schwarz because he was once Ellis’ partner in selling marijuana in Chesterfield, but the two had a falling out. Ellis received a 25-year sentence in October.
According to a summary of evidence, Ellis talked with the three co-defendants in Salisbury on Halloween 2016 in planning their impromptu trip to Virginia. When they got there, they hung out at a house with three teenage girls who told them where the victim was living. One of them was Ellis’ former girlfriend.

“In the end, all four defendants piled into Ellis’ car and circled the neighborhood, with Ellis egging on Crawford to carry out their robbery plan,” the paper reported.

After they stopped nearby, Crawford, Hargrave and Palmer approached the shed where Schwarz lived. He saw them and began walking to the door. Crawford, carrying a handgun, opened fire, hitting Schwarz in the abdomen — severing his aorta.

Without getting money or drugs from Schwarz, the four fled back to North Carolina and were arrested eight days later. Police said all four were affiliated with the Grape Street Crips.

Hargrave and Palmer are expected to enter guilty pleas to similar charges on Jan. 25 and Feb. 13, respectively.