Sentence is message to gang aspirants

Published 8:14 am Friday, March 19, 2010

COURTLAND—The last of six men involved in a 2008 attempted robbery and shooting in Franklin will spend the next two decades behind bars.

Daremus Lewis stood before Judge Rodham T. Delk Jr. in Southampton County Circuit Court on Thursday to be sentenced for his role in the crime, which left a Franklin man permanently disabled.

Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke said Lewis and the others involved were gang members.

Before sentencing Lewis on charges of possession of cocaine, attempted robbery, aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and discharging a firearm in public, Delk said he wanted to send a message.

“There is no good reason to join a street gang,” Delk said. “Gangs destroy the fabric of communities.”

“Today, you become a poster child for the destruction that gangs do to communities,” he told Lewis, before handing down an active sentence of 20 years.

Five other men, Anterrio Bradley, Duray Hudson, Jadon Artis, Vernon Winstead and Dominick Smallwood, had already been sentenced for their roles in the crime.

The six co-defendants are also responsible for the joint payment of more than $200,000 in restitution.