Release Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 4:16p.m.
Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Randell Loren Thigpen-Knight, who previously resided in the 4400 block of Seagrove Road, in the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, was sentenced on charges of Robbery, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, and Malicious Wounding. The Honorable Patricia L. West ordered him to serve a total of forty-five (45) years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. Sixteen (16) years of that sentence was suspended, leaving him an active sentence of twenty-nine (29) years to serve. The Court ordered that twenty-four (24) years be served with the sentence he is currently serving from recent convictions in the City of Suffolk. The defendant entered a guilty plea on October 27, 2008. As part of his plea agreement, Thigpen-Knight testified against his codefendant, Christopher Lee Joyner Jr.
Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proved that on May 7, 2008, Thigpen-Knight, together with Christopher Lee Joyner Jr. and Ephraim Lamar McCoy III broke into a Virginia Beach home in search of money and marijuana. After the forced entry, there was a struggle and one of the victims was shot in the head. The other victim was dragged from room to room, while being pistol whipped, as the defendants collected money and property. The gunshot victim survived, although he sustained multiple injuries and permanent injuries to his brain.
Ephraim McCoy, the shooter, pled guilty to Robbery, Aggravated Malicious Wounding and two (2) counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony on December 16, 2009 and was sentenced to a total of thirty (30) years with all but thirteen (13) years suspended.
Christopher Lee Joyner Jr. was convicted on charges of Abduction, Robbery, Armed Statutory Burglary, Aggravated Malicious Wounding and four (4) counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony after a jury trial on March 10, 2010. The jury recommended that serve a total of eighty-three (83) years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. Formal sentencing is set for September 29, 2010.
Randell Thigpen-Knight is currently serving twenty-four (24) years for Abduction, Robbery, Conspiracy and two (2) counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Robbery which occurred in Suffolk. He also has prior convictions on charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Virginia Beach and Obstruction of Justice in Chesapeake.
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Philip C. Hollowell and Senior Assistant Gordon C. Ufkes prosecuted the case. Please call Macie E. Pridgen if additional information is desired.