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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A one-time member of the Portsmouth Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang was sentenced Monday to life in prison

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A one-time member of the Portsmouth Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang was sentenced Monday to life in prison for gunning down two brothers in a Cradock home invasion robbery. Jamyia Rashad Brothers, 24, and his lawyers pleaded for a sentence of 35 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson, calling the killings "one of the most heinous crimes a man can commit in American society," gave him life. Brothers and another Blood went to the home of Ronnie Trollinger on Gillis Road one night in December 2007 with the intention of robbing him. Upon entering, Brothers almost immediately began shooting. Trollinger, 51, was shot in the chest and died. His brother, John Trollinger, 49, was shot in the chest and head and died. A third man was shot in the abdomen and survived. Brothers read a rambling letter to the court stating that the crimes have led him to find Christ. He apologized to the Trollinger family, the court and to Jesus. He said he wished he "could have listened to the voice of my dear grandmother." Brothers was raised by his grandparents but was expelled from high school and had numerous arrests before this case. John Trollinger's widow testified that she continues to suffer physically and emotionally. "I live with fear, loneliness and emptiness," she said. The high school sweethearts were married for 31 years and had two children and two grandchildren. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Muhr said Brothers fired his gun for no good reason. "It was just cold-blooded murder," he said. "They did nothing to him." He said the Bloods gang terrorized Cradock and other neighborhoods in Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake. "They are a scourge on society," he said. In calling for a life prison term, Muhr cited Brothers' arrest record, which includes convictions for assault, drug dealing near a school, escape, firearm possession and drunken driving. Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Earle C. Mobley, who sat through the sentencing, said the case never could have been prosecuted without the joint federal-state effort. The initial case in state court fell apart because of witness problems. James Theuer, one of Brothers' attorneys, argued for a 35-year prison term, telling the judge his client "is a different man today." "Where was that individual," Judge Jackson wondered aloud, "when you walked in that house?" Jackson also denied a request that Brothers be housed in a prison close to his family. "It's unfortunate," the judge said. "It's a tragedy on all sides."

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