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Bedford County murderer's life sentences reduced to 99 years

Randy Ross pleaded guilty at age 17 to capital murder

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – A Bedford County judge altered the life sentences of the man who murdered Jamelle Poindexter nearly 20 years ago.

Randy Ross has spent nearly half his life in prison after pleading guilty at age 17 to the 1998 capital murder of Poindexter in Bedford County.

He was convicted of capital murder, robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

To avoid being put on death row, he received two life sentences, plus eight years.

The case went back before a judge after the United States Supreme Court decided that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.

The Bedford County judge heard new testimony and witness statements on both sides of the case on Tuesday.

Poindexter's father and mother both took the stand, remembering their son and how hard life has been for their family since the murder.

Ross' mother also took the stand and was questioned about his home life.

It was also an emotional day for the family of Jamelle Poindexter. HIS MOTHER spoke directly to her son's killer.

Poindexter was a football player and had a job at the Peaks of Otter Lodge at the time of his murder.
    
His parents say having to relive the painful memories in court makes it hard for them to ever have closure.

"It is the worst thing we have ever been through. There is a difference between a living and in dying and living and being murdered. He gave you ride and this is what you repaid him. You not only murdered him. You shot him over and over and over," said Debra Poindexter.

99 years was not the sentence his attorney was expecting from the judge.

A 99 year sentence is still a life sentence. We will go back and discuss with Randy and consider options and make decisions accordingly," said Leigh Drewry.

Ross' attorney believed he has changed his life around since the crime and asked the judge to suspend the life sentence to where he can get out within the next 10 years to still live a productive life in society.

Before he was ultimately sentenced to 99 years, Ross stood before the judge to read a letter apologizing to the Poindexter family for the murder of their son.