A 20-year-old Manassas man was convicted last week of criminal gang involvement in connection with the Jan. 1 shooting death of a Woodbridge man. And his girlfriend, a 19-year-old Chantilly woman, is slated to enter a plea in December for her alleged role in the murder.
THE WOMAN, Sheena Latoya Bailey of 4139 Chantilly Lace Court in the Chantilly Mews community, was scheduled to begin a jury trial last week in Fredericksburg on a charge of first-degree murder. But instead, she reportedly made a plea agreement and is expected to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
She and boyfriend Ira Anderson were arrested Jan. 1 in Chantilly — where police said they fled after Anthony King Jr., 27, was killed in Fredericksburg, hours earlier. Both Bailey and Anderson were charged with his murder.
King was shot once in the head and once in the arm. And according to Fredericksburg police spokesman Jim Shelhorse, Anderson fired the gun and Bailey allegedly drove the getaway car.
Just prior to the tragedy, shortly before 2 a.m., a fight had erupted outside the Club Royale, a popular dance club in Fredericksburg. Police rushed to the scene to break it up and found nearly 100 people either brawling, brandishing weapons or watching the melee.
But the shooting occurred about a block away. It happened in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, where the crowd had made its way after the brawl. Police said tempers flared again and emotions boiled over after Bailey and Anderson arrived, and King was fatally shot.
Shelhorse said neither Bailey nor Anderson ever left their car, and they sped away quickly after the shooting. He said King had been standing at the vehicle's passenger side at the time. The victim was medivaced to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died that afternoon.
Meanwhile, said Shelhorse, the couple fled in a black SUV with Virginia tags, and police found it later in Bailey's driveway. In addition, witnesses at the site of the shooting reportedly identified her and provided her address to the authorities.
Fairfax County police arrested Bailey and Anderson when they left her house and entered the SUV. Both were charged with first-degree murder, plus use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and they were jailed in Fredericksburg.
On Feb. 16 in Fredericksburg General District Court, Bailey's firearm charge was dropped, and her murder charge was certified to the grand jury. Both of Anderson's charges were sent to the grand jury. The pair was indicted on Feb. 27, but Bailey and Anderson were prosecuted individually.
Anderson had a jury trial in Fredericksburg Circuit Court, beginning June 28. After three days of testimony and evidence, the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder and recommended he serve 18 years in prison.
They also convicted him of the firearm offense, which carries a mandatory sentence of three years behind bars. Judge John Scott will impose sentence on Anderson, Dec. 4, for both these crimes.
ANDERSON THEN returned to Circuit Court last Wednesday, Oct. 4, to answer to yet another charge. At that time, he entered an Alford plea to criminal participation in a street gang. By doing so, he did not admit guilt, but acknowledged that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him of this offense.
Commonwealth's Attorney LaBravia Jenkins told the court that both King and Anderson were members of gangs with a long-standing and bitter rivalry between them. King belonged to the 202 Mob, and Anderson was a member of the Southside Boys.
Under the terms of a plea agreement between the defense and prosecuting attorneys, Anderson was sentenced to five years in prison, with four years and three months suspended, leaving him nine months to serve. This sentence will more than likely run consecutively to whatever sentence he receives in December for the murder and firearms convictions.
As for Bailey, she's scheduled to appear Dec. 4 in Circuit Court to enter her plea.