Man gets life in prison

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

COURTLAND—A Newsoms man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the March 3, 2009, murder of Brandon Keith Turner.

Troy Mayfield, 29, was sentenced Tuesday in Southampton County Circuit Court for first-degree murder. Authorities say Mayfield shot Turner outside a Courtland apartment complex to keep him from testifying against Mayfield’s half-brother, Eric Parker.

Mayfield was also sentenced to an additional three years for a related firearms charge.

Mayfield’s court-appointed attorney, Mike Rosenberg, asked Judge Edward A. Martin to consider a sentence of 25 years in prison. Rosenberg said the jury was not privy to Virginia’s sentencing guidelines at the time the sentence was recommended. He also said his client’s “minimal criminal record” should be taken into account.

“He’s still a young man, and 25 years is an awful long time,” Rosenberg said.

Mayfield continued to claim his innocence during sentencing.

“I would like to apologize to the family of the victim,” he said. “I’m innocent. I didn’t do the crime.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke also recommended $5,000 restitution from the defendant. Martin denied the request, saying it was “impractical” given the length of Mayfield’s sentence.

Cooke said the shooting of a potential witness undermines the nature of the criminal justice system and had a “significant impact” on the community.

Rosenberg said Mayfield will appeal.

Parker was sentenced to 23 years for his role in the murder. He was recently charged with the nearly four-year-old murder of Courtney Blunt, 26, at Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park.

Police were called at about midnight on April 20, 2007, and found Blunt, who was shot at his home in the 31000 block of George Street. It’s believed that Parker allegedly shot Blunt while trying to rob him, police said.

The defense in Parker’s case was granted two motions on Tuesday — one to allow an investigator to help the defense and another to allow for a court reporter.

A preliminary hearing on that case is set for April 28.