LYNCHBURG, Va. - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to burglary, attempted robbery and firearms charges during a 2017 Lynchburg incident.
Darrell Jermaine Saunders Jr. received a total sentence of 28 years with 20 years suspended pursuant to a plea agreement.
The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Lynchburg says the plea agreement "was reached at the insistence of the victims of the case who did not want to relive the traumatic events of May 15, 2017, and become targets of negative attention."
Saunders pleaded guilty Thursday to burglary, attempted robbery, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a violent felon.
Around 9:30 p.m. on May 15, 2017, Saunders and his friend, Dedric Megginson, arrived at the back door of a Lynchburg home in the 800 block of Dearing Street.
Saunders knocked on the door and asked the victim, who knew Saunders, to retrieve a phone number for him. As the victim looked down to get his phone, Saunders pushed the victim farther into the home.
Saunders then told Megginson to enter the home. They assaulted the victim and reached into the victim’s pockets.
The victim had a handgun in his waistband, which he retrieved and fired at Saunders and Megginson. The victim shot Saunders in his lower stomach, causing him to fall to the ground.
Megginson overpowered the victim, took the victim’s gun and hit the victim in the head it.
Another man in the home then came downstairs where he saw Saunders on the ground.
Megginson was in the process of standing up with a gun pointed at the man. The man, who also had a gun, fired three shots at Megginson. Megginson ran out of the back door of the home.
Lynchburg police arrived to find Megginson in the backyard, unresponsive, with gunshot wounds to his head and chest. He died from his injuries.
Officers found a silver .22-caliber handgun near Megginson in the backyard. They also found the victim’s handgun on the ground near Megginson.
Saunders was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound.
While at the hospital, Saunders told detectives that he went to the home to pick up marijuana from the victim. He claimed as he attempted to smell the marijuana, the victim shot him. He said Megginson came into the home and was also shot. Saunders admitted that the .22-caliber gun was his. He brought it to the house but said he believed he left it in an alley or the backyard. He said he told Megginson to stand around the corner to wait as Saunders went to the back of the house, as he knew it would be bad and that he could get shot.
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