Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.
Teens charged, convicted as adults in Louisa County
Two teens with intentions of starting a gang in Louisa County were charged as adults and face up to 51 years after being convicted on several felony charges.
Kyle McKeown, 16, formerly of Greenville, N.C., and 16-year-old Melik Perkins of Mineral were both convicted of two counts of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, malicious wounding and assault and battery.
McKeown was convicted by a jury last night and Perkins changed his plea to guilty this morning after learning about McKeown’s conviction.
Around 10:30 p.m. April 9, the two teens sat in the parking lot of Glen Marye Shopping Center in the town of Louisa and waited so that they could “target” a small group of people, said Louisa Comonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire.
They had purchased bandanas and obtained handguns earlier that day, McGuire said.
The two victims, ages 18 and 20 at the time, told police that they were standing in the parking lot when a gray GM pickup with chrome wheels pulled up.
The victims told police that two males armed with handguns and wearing black bandanas got out of the truck and demanded money.
But before they could comply, McGuire said McKeown “cold cocked” the first victim with the gun.
The first victim said he was struck by a handgun and knocked unconscious, sustaining a concussion and a hairline fracture of his jaw.
The second victim was also hit in the face with the gun, but he fought back and gained the upperhand, McGuire said, until Perkins, armed with a handgun, told him to let McKeown go.
No money or property was stolen and both gunmen fled in the truck, police said.
The next day, Maj. Donnie Lowe of the Sheriff’s Office spotted a vehicle matching the description of the one in the parking lot. Detectives questioned the two 16-year-olds in the truck.
McKeown and Perkins were detained on April 12 and sent to the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center on charges of malicious wounding, attempted armed robbery, brandishing a firearm and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Those charges were upgraded in July and both teens were charged as adults.
During his interrogation, McKeown told detectives that he ran with a criminal street gang in Greenville, N.C., and indicated that he and Melik wanted to form their own gang in Louisa.
“Our offices know it is a difficult decision to prosecute teenagers as adults but when they make the decision to engage in gang activity we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” McGuire said this morning.
Investigators recovered two pellet pistols and other evidence from the suspects’ vehicle and homes, police said.
The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the case by the Louisa Town Police Department and Louisa County Fire & Emergency Services.