Murder suspect jailed for five years on separate case

Published 9:46 am Friday, December 16, 2011

COURTLAND—A Franklin man alleged to be the shooter in the Oct. 7, 2010, murder of Darrin Lee on Thursday was sent to prison for five years on a separate case.

Rasheed Brown, 22, admitted to waving a gun in the parking lot of the Huddle House on Armory Drive at 4 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2009, and fleeing from police. He was nabbed in the Farm Fresh parking lot. Police retraced Brown’s path to a ditch where he fell during the foot-chase and found a loaded .45 caliber machine pistol.

Brown, who was scheduled for a jury trial, took a plea to charges of being a felon who is prohibited from having a gun and conspiracy to steal a gun in Southampton County Circuit Court. Charges of brandishing a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and obstruction of justice were dismissed.

Facing life in prison for Lee’s murder, Brown was pinned as the triggerman by an accomplice in the murder at Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park on Route 258. Testifying during a preliminary hearing, Bruce Boone, 19, said he saw Brown shoot Lee in the head.

Boone in September pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against Brown and other Lee first-degree murder suspects Darrin Robinson, 22, of Suffolk and Shahon Cumbo, 23, of Franklin.

Initially charged with first-degree murder, Boone faces 8 to 18 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 17. He avoided the possibility of life in prison by making a deal.

Ernest Jones Jr., 23, of Portsmouth has also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will be sentenced in March. He expects to serve 13 to 23 years in prison.

Brown is scheduled for a jury trial on March 6.

Lee — a well known drug dealer according to prosecutors — was abducted by the suspects from Man Market on South Street in Franklin and taken to his home. Lee, 28, drove them to his home, but was reluctant to let them inside because he had family there.

During the incident, a car pulled up and flashed its lights. That’s when the shooting occurred.