NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man previously convicted of conspiracy in connection to the 2011 killing of Old Dominion student Chris Cummings is not expected to serve additional prison time on a related failure to appear to charge.
That’s based on uniform good behavior during Rashad Dooley’s 25-year prison sentence, a Norfolk Circuit Court judge ruled this week. Dooley will also have to complete five years of supervised probation upon release.
He pleaded guilty to the failure to appear charge on Wednesday before the sentencing, the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office announced.
Dooley, 30, was convicted back in September of conspiring to commit first-degree murder, conspiring to commit robbery and conspiring to commit burglary related to the 2011 shooting death of Cummings, an ODU student and nephew of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. He was found not guilty on 10 other charges including first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and other charges.
But before the jury could return with their guilty verdicts, Dooley left the courthouse and didn’t return. He was eventually arrested two weeks later at a Chesapeake restaurant.
Dooley told WAVY he “wasn’t running” from the law, and was taking the time to explain to his kids that he was going back to jail. He also still insisted he’s innocent and that he never met Cummings.
“In court, I just had an emotional breakdown and wanted to go talk to my kids and let them know. Couldn’t nobody explain it to them better than me that I was going back to jail again,” Dooley said. “I wasn’t ever even seen on no scene. I never had no evidence. I got convicted off two inmates that I don’t know from a can of paint, and they never told any detail. They just told them that I told them I was the driver.”
Dooley was one of four men charged in the murder of Cummings and the wounding of his roommate, Jake Carey. Two of Dooley’s co-defendants had their cases dismissed, while another had a hung jury.
“I got convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and nobody got convicted of the original murder,” Dooley said.
Back in November, Dooley requested a new trial in the case.