Spotsy man gets four years for role in Q Ball Cafe shooting
BY PORTSIA SMITH / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The Spotsylvania County man accused of driving the getaway car in a fatal shooting of a security guard outside the Q Ball Cafe last year will spend four years in prison.
Lavon Antonio Chew, 25, entered an Alford plea in Spotsylvania Circuit Court Friday on charges of voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to shoot from a vehicle. An Alford plea means that while Chew does not admit guilt, he acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for conviction.
A two-day jury trial for Chew had been scheduled to begin Monday on the charges stemming from the shooting death on March 30, 2013 of Marcellus “Bull” Green, 45 at the nightspot near Spotsylvania Towne Centre.
Judge David Beck sentenced Chew to 20 years in prison with all but four years suspended as part of a plea agreement.
“I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Chew said in court Friday of the fatal shooting. “I deeply apologize to the family, friends and to the courts.”
Greene of Culpeper was shot in the head and killed in the drive-by shooting at the Q Ball Club after fights broke out outside the club.
The gunman, Chauncey Cartier “Fresh” Lampkin, 28, of Gainesville, Fla., faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in Circuit Court on June 9. He pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder and shooting from a vehicle as part of a plea deal. In exchange, four other charges were dropped.
According to a plea agreement, an altercation began between Lampkin and a group of men referred to as Hustle Nation at the Q Ball Cafe. The violence began after hand signs were exchanged back and forth, the agreement said.
Lampkin was asked to leave the club around 12:45 a.m., but returned in a car driven by Chew, court records show.
A fight later ensued in the parking lot in front of the Bragg Road nightspot and was broken up by club employees, according to court records.
Shortly after that, Lampkin pointed a handgun from the passenger window of a passing vehicle and fired shots before fleeing.
One of the shots struck and killed Greene, who was standing in front of the club’s entrance.
Chew was arrested the same day, and a nationwide search was launched for Lampkin. He was arrested about a month later in New York.
While Lampkin was identified as the gunman, authorities say forensic evidence linked Chew to the shooting.
“The cooperative effort by law enforcement, the appearance of prosecutors at the scene of the crime during the investigation, and the continued hard work and teamwork by all parties enabled the Commonwealth to present a very strong, circumstantial case, against Chew,” said Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney William Neely.
Defense attorney John Ilijevich said Chew was with Lampkin that night, but didn’t know him that well.
“The bottom line is he did take responsibility for his actions,” Ilijevich told the judge. “He knew Marcellus Greene much more than he knew Mr. Lampkin and he was sincere in his apology.”
Beck denied a request by the defense to let Chew report to jail on Monday so he could work one more day and see his children.
“You are a very young man and I hear you have children,” Beck said. “I want you to amend your behavior and become a law-abiding citizen.”
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419