NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 18-year-old Zyron Quadie Jermain Sanders in 2020.

Tremel McKinley Denis, 22, had an additional three years suspended on the conditions that Denis had no contact with Sanders’ family, and that he completed 10 years of good behavior and an indeterminate period of supervised probation.

On March 26, 2020, Norfolk Police and Fire Rescue responded to a call to the 1000 block of Fishermans Road. Sanders was found deceased outside of his home with several gunshot wounds. Sanders was shot at the top of his head, right arm, right side of the neck and his torso, according to police.

Sanders’ friend told investigators that she believed a person under a false Facebook alias “James Harden” shot Sanders. The friend identified Denis as the owner of the Facebook account and said Denis arranged to buy something from Sanders.

After checking Sanders’ Facebook messages, it was confirmed that the “Harden” account had exchanged messages with Sanders to purchase a firearm, referred to as a “hammer.” Sander was going to sell a .38 Special P Revolver for $180.

In an exchange with a different Facebook user, “Harden” was told to take the gun and keep the money. On March 26, “Harden” announced he was pulling up in messages to Sander’s at 1:24 p.m. Medics pronounced Sanders dead at 1:36 p.m. And the Facebook account for “Harden” was deleted hours later.

Denis was arrested for possession of concealed weapon on May 12, 2020. The gun was similar to the pictures sent in Facebook messages between Sanders and “Harden.” Denis was charged for second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

However, Denis pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Due to little surveillance or eyewitnesses, the plea was accepted.

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