VIRGINIA BEACH — The Commonwealth’s Attorney has increased a charge against a man who took part in a 2016 robbery that turned deadly in Virginia Beach.
Maurice Walters will now face a charge of aggravated malicious wounding, which carries a minimum of 20 years in prison. He was originally charged with malicious wounding, which carries a sentence of 5-20 years.
Macie Allen, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, said the increased charge was a result of Walter’s dishonesty.
“Walters originally entered into a plea agreement with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office that required him to testify truthfully in the trial of a co-defendant,” Allen said. However, Walter “lied on the witness stand during that defendant’s jury trial,” which was a breach of his plea deal.
On Wednesday, Allen said Judge James Lewis released prosecutors from their plea deal with Walters.
Walters pleaded guilty to the new charge, as well as one count of conspiracy and attempted robbery.
The charges stem from an incident July 20, 2016, when Marquel Leary, Sean Patterson, Walters, Casheon Jones and a juvenile decided to rob Frederico Roundtree of money and a gun at his apartment in Chatham Square. Roudtree’s friend, Taiwan Michael Simon, was present at the apartment and had prior knowledge of the robbery plan. Police said a gunfight ensued after the men arrived.
Around 1 a.m., police were initially notified of a person with gunshot wounds at the Chatham Square Apartments in the 300 block of Overlook Court . There, police found three men with gunshot wounds — Roundtree was shot in his leg, Leary in his stomach, and Simon was shot in the head. Simon died at the scene from his injuries.
Related story: Virginia Beach police: Arrest made in deadly summer shooting
During the trials of Walters’ co-defendants in May 2017, Marie Leary — mother of Marquel Leary, one of the men involved in Simon’s shooting — was arrested and charged with five counts of soliciting first-degree murder.
Police said she met with an undercover detective and expressed a desire to hire a hitman to kill co-defendants and witnesses linked to Simon’s shooting, according to documents filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.
Her arrest came just two weeks before her son pleaded guilty to killing Simon, police said.
Allen said Walters will be sentenced on Aug. 8.