Man sentenced to 37 years for beating man to death in Norfolk, burning house with him inside


Jamal A. Knowles. (Photo courtesy: Norfolk Police Department)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for beating a man to death then setting a house on fire with him inside.

Jamal A. Knowles was sentenced Friday to 37 years on charges of first-degree murder, arson of an occupied dwelling and grand larceny in Norfolk Circuit Court.

Knowles was convicted by a jury in October. He was found not guilty on one count of defiling a human body.

On Friday, the judge sentenced Knowles to the jury’s recommendation of 37 years. No time was suspended on the sentence.

Authorities say Knowles beat 30-year-old Demont Brooks to death June 18, 2019 in the 1400 block of Picadilly Street. He was found dead inside a home after firefighters responded to a fire.

Knowles was taken into custody after a police chase and crash in Chesapeake.

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