U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took the death penalty off the table for four co-defendants charged in the slaying of a Waynesboro reserve police officer, prosecutors said Friday.
Three siblings and another man whom authorities say all belong to the Bloods gang set 99 Goon Syndikate will instead face the possibility of life in prison for their alleged role in the high-profile killing of Capt. Kevin Quick, 45.
“I know the attorney general takes these cases very seriously,” said Timothy J. Heaphy, who is prosecuting the case against siblings Daniel Mathis and Shantai and Mersadies Shelton, as well as Kweli Uhuru.
Halisi Uhuru, identified in court records as the top-ranking member of the Syndikate in Virginia, and Anthony Stokes also are charged in a 36-count federal indictment handed down by a Charlottesville grand jury last month. A three-week trial date was scheduled Friday to begin May 4.
“[Holder] reviews each potential death penalty case at his kitchen table, often late at night,” Heaphy said. “I have known him for years and continue to have great confidence in him and his judgment.”
He did not say whether he agreed with the decision or whether authorities have identified who fired the shot that killed Quick, 45, a new father who was last seen leaving his mother’s home in Afton on Jan. 31.
He sent a text message to his girlfriend at 10:14 p.m. saying he was on his way to visit her and their infant daughter in Albemarle County, and another at 10:49 asking if she needed anything. That was the last anyone heard from Quick. His remains were discovered six days later in rural Goochland County.
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