Man enters murder plea

Published 10:27 am Friday, September 16, 2011

COURTLAND—A Suffolk man, who under oath named Rasheed Brown as the triggerman in the Oct. 7 murder of Darrin Lee, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in Southampton County Circuit Court.

As part of the agreement to reduce the charge from first-degree murder and avoid the possibility of life in prison, Bruce Lamar Boone, 19, agreed to testify against his co-defendants. Others facing first-degree murder charges for Lee’s death are Brown; Darrin Robinson, 21, of Suffolk; Shahon Cumbo, 22, of Franklin; and Ernest Jones, 23, of Portsmouth.

Boone faces 8 to 18 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 17.

“He became progressively more cooperative,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke said about Boone. “He has testified against co-defendants in General District Court in Franklin and has agreed to testify in matters against other defendants.”

Brown, 22, of Franklin is scheduled for a jury trial for first-degree murder on Tuesday, Sept. 20. He faces life in prison.

Judge Rodham T. Delk told Boone there was enough evidence to find him guilty of first-degree murder, attempted robbery and abduction.

Boone and Brown saw Lee at Man Market in Franklin, who was a well-known drug dealer and instructed Lee to take them to his “stash” of drugs, Cooke said.

Lee drove them to his home in Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park, but was reluctant to let them inside because he had family there, Cooke said.

During the incident, a car pulled up and flashed its lights, Cooke said. Brown then accused Lee of setting him up, Cooke told the court.

Cooke said Brown then shot Lee in the head.