Rooks receives bond after appeal in circuit court
Published 1:50 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2021
The man arrested as a suspect in the Nov. 17 shooting in Franklin that left one dead and another injured was granted bond Dec. 21 in Southampton Circuit Court.
Kevin Megal Rooks, a 26-year-old Franklin resident, was arrested Dec. 9, charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was initially held without bail at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
In a Dec. 13 bond hearing in Franklin City General District Court, Rooks’ attorney, Stephen B. Plott, argued Rooks was confronting individuals who had broken into his home in what became a home invasion gone wrong.
The prosecutor, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Caitlin N. Angel, argued that Rooks was not home when the break-in initially occurred but rather was alerted to the intrusion and then came to his home and shot two people. Angel argued the intruders did not pose a threat to Rooks that warranted the manner in which he used the gun.
Plott said there is no witness that will testify to what Angel was saying.
General District Judge Helivi L. Holland noted it is rare for people to receive bond when they have received the charges that are against Rooks. She ultimately issued no bond but mentioned Rooks’ right to appeal and stated that it did not offend the court for another judge to hear the case.
Circuit Court Judge L. Wayne Farmer heard Rooks’ appeal Dec. 21 in Isle of Wight County, which is where some Southampton Circuit Court bench trial dockets are being heard while renovations to the Southampton County Courthouse are taking place.
Richard L. Francis, clerk of Southampton Circuit Court, was in the courtroom during the appeal, and he said Farmer granted the bond with several conditions.
Francis said that as he remembered, the restrictions were that Rooks must reside at a particular address in Suffolk, with limited reasons to leave the residence; he is to have absolutely no contact by any means with the alleged victim; and he will come to Franklin only to work, not shopping there, even for groceries.
Franklin Police reported in a Nov. 18 press release that on Nov. 17 at 7:07 p.m., the Franklin Emergency Communications Center received a call in the 300 block of Forest Pine Road in reference to shots fired. Officers from the FPD arrived on scene and found an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound. Those officers began to provide first aid until Franklin Fire and Rescue could arrive on scene. That victim was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Officers entered a residence identified as the location of the incident and discovered a second victim, deceased from a gunshot wound, the release continued. That victim was identified as 18-year-old Tazman Banks.
Rooks’ preliminary hearing is set for March 14 at 9 a.m. in Franklin City General District Court.