The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Shooter in drug-deal-gone-bad case gets prison time
BY KEITH EPPS.
A 75-year-old Stafford County man who shot two of the three people who tried to rob him of drugs and money last year was ordered Friday to serve two years in prison.
Willie Claude Herring pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm as a felon. In return for Herring’s guilty pleas, prosecutor Michael Hardiman dropped several other charges.
Herring was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison with all but two years suspended.
According to the evidence, Jason W. Atkins, 34, Ricky D. Atkins, 38, and Brooke E. Jenkins hatched a plan to rip off Herring, a convicted drug dealer. The plan called for Jenkins to arrange the purchase of 20 Oxycodone pills from Herring and for the men to rush in and rob Herring after he opened the door.
Hardiman said the trio went to Herring’s home on Brooke Road on Sept. 28, 2011 and Herring let the woman in. When he saw one of the Atkins brothers running up the steps with a crowbar, he pulled out a pistol and fired.
The bullet went through Jenkins’ arm and into the shoulder of one of the men. The other brother drove his injured companions to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg and police were eventually called.
Police determined that Herring was the shooter and that the incident took place in Stafford.
All three of the would-be robbers were convicted of felonies in the case, but Herring ended up with more prison time than all of them.
The Atkins brothers were both ordered to serve a year in prison after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and conspiracy; Jenkins was convicted of conspiracy and received a suspended sentence.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404