Former security guard gets 30 years in 2017 Chesapeake murder


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A former Chesapeake security guard convicted of killing a 60-year-old man will spend three decades in prison.

Jurors convicted Johnathan Cromwell of second-degree murder in the February 2017 shooting death of Jiansheng Chen following a trial in March.

Jurors recommended sentencing time of 27 years for murder and three years on a charge of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. In a hearing on Monday, a judge formally sentenced Cromwell to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Chen was playing the popular smartphone game Pokemon Go at the time of his death. Cromwell’s defense argued Chen used his vehicle as a weapon, forcing Cromwell to fire his weapon in self-defense.

“Well it’s not fair, because he shouldn’t have been convicted of anything,“ said Cromwell attorney Andrew Sacks.

Sacks thought all along that Cromwell acted in self-defense when he fired. Chen was in a van at the clubhouse and Cromwell believed Chen was going to hit him.

“This was a para-police officer, a security guard licensed by the state permitted to carry a gun,” Sacks added. “He had a statutory duty to protect people, make arrests and it was in the line of that duty.”

Prosecutors say Cromwell confronted Chen, firing 10 shots and hitting him five times.

“The attorneys in my office did excellent jobs prosecuting this case,” said Chesapeake Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Parr. “Hopefully all we can ask for is that this verdict and this sentence somehow brings them some peace and comfort going forward from today on,” Parr added.

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