NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for robbing a man at gunpoint and carjacking a woman last year.
On the morning of Aug. 20, 2022, Brian Lacole Spears and his three co-defendants stole items from a vehicle parked on Norchester Avenue. The owner of the car approached the group and was robbed at gunpoint. The group took the man’s keys and Apple AirPods then took off in his silver Dodge Charger with Spears behind the wheel.
Later that morning, the group tried to steal a man’s truck on Norview Avenue but were scared off when the man saw them. The group, still in the stolen Charger, drove to Giles Circle where they spotted a empty Hyundai Tucson with the engine running.
One of the men got out of the Charger and jumped in the driver seat of the Tucson. The owner of the vehicle, who was standing nearby, tried to stop the man before he punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground. The man then hit the woman with her own car as he drove away. Soon after, the man wrecked the Tucson, jumped out and ran away with the woman’s purse.
A few streets over, Spears picked the man up in the stolen Charger. Back at the scene of the carjacking, Norfolk detectives were told by the victim that his AirPods were pinging from the 5700 block of Northampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach police went the restaurant at that location and saw Spears and the rest of the group getting out of the Charger. Police then observed Spears get back into the Charger and drive away. Both Virginia Beach officers and Norfolk officers followed Spears with their lights and sirens activated.
Spears took off at a high rate of speed and led officers on a pursuit along the Virginia Beach and Norfolk border. Officers lost sight of Spears for a short time, but soon located the parked Charger and were able to take Spears into custody on foot near the intersection of Norristown Drive and Lillian Avenue. At the time of his arrest, Spears was carrying a backpack with two loaded, semi-automatic pistols inside.
On June 29, Spears pleaded no contest to felony carjacking, eluding, armed robbery and malicious wounding, and to misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon, and Judge Mary Jane Hall found him guilty.
On Friday, Nov. 3, Spears was sentenced to 40 years in prison, 27 of those years were suspended on the conditions that Spears complete five years of uniform good behavior and an indeterminate period of supervised probation, have no contact with the victim, and pay restitution to the victim.
In June of 2022, Spears plead guilty to grand larceny auto, eluding, and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon in an unrelated case from August 2021. Judge Robert B. Rigney deferred a finding of guilt and took the matter under advisement. This gave Spears the opportunity to avoid felony convictions with uniform good behavior and meeting probation requirements for one year.
“In 2021, Mr. Spears was 20 years old and got a second chance to avoid being a convicted felon and to get his life in order,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Rather than take that second chance, Mr. Spears chose to commit new crimes, and now he must serve his sentence.”
Judge Mary Jane Hall on June 29 also found Mr. Spears guilty of his 2021 charges and, on Friday, sentenced Mr. Spears to six more suspended years in custody.