NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 23-year-old Norfolk man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing another 23-year-old man and shooting and injuring the man’s girlfriend in a robbery attempt in June 2019.
Prosecutors say Demarcus Malik Mackey believed 23-year-old Stefon T. Grimes was a marijuana dealer. During the attempted robbery, both Grimes and his girlfriend, then-22-year-old Alexandra Mitchell, were shot.
Grimes did not survive.
Mackey appeared in Norfolk Circuit Court on Thursday and was sentenced to 83 years with 43 years suspended, leaving an active prison sentence of 40 years.
Mackey was convicted in July 2021 of second-degree murder, abduction, armed burglary and three counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Mackey’s codefendant, Ja’Quan R. Claiborne, was acquitted on charges related to the incident. Police are still investigating who a third perpetrator and getaway driver could be, prosecutors said.
According to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Grimes and Mitchell had finished running errands and just arrived at Grimes’ house on Keller Avenue in Norfolk just after 7 p.m. June 25, 2019.
Grimes left to go to one more store while Mitchell let their dog out in the front yard.
Mitchell was standing on the front porch when she was approached by a man who asked if Grimes was home. He asked if he could wait inside until Grimes came back, but Mitchell said no and attempted to go back inside the house.
Two other men jumped out of the bushes and all three forced their way inside the home with Mitchell.
One of those men, who were armed, was identified as Mackey.
Mackey and one of the others held Mitchell at gunpoint while the third searched the house.
Grimes returned home soon after because someone called him to let him know they saw Mitchell being pushed inside the home.
Grimes was armed with a revolver, and a shootout ensued between him and the men.
Mackey and one of the men with him shot Grimes in the forehead, both arms, abdomen, back and chest. Mitchell was shot in both arms and legs.
Grimes died on the living room floor, despite attempts by Mitchell, a former military medic, to save him.
The men fled the house in a car.
Neighbors identified Mackey as one of the people who forced their way inside the home.
Mackey later told Norfolk police that he had been watching the cul-de-sac where Grimes lived because he had been told there was a marijuana dealer living in that area. He believed the person would be a good target for a robbery, prosecutors said.
However, police didn’t find any evidence that would indicate Grimes or Mitchell were involved in illegal business.
“My heart goes out to the family of Stefon Grimes, who died in his own house at the hands of Mr. Mackey and his coconspirators,” said Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “My condolences also go to Ms. Mitchell, who suffered the trauma of being shot multiple times and watching her loved one die. I would like to express my thanks to Ms. Mitchell and to Mr. Grimes’ neighbors for coming forward and testifying at this trial. They are heroes and role models because, without their help, we could not have secured a conviction and accountability in this case.
“Finally, the fact that Mr. Grimes and Ms. Mitchell became innocent and tragic targets because of the mistaken impression that Mr. Grimes was selling marijuana teaches us two lessons. First, anyone who in fact engages in the illegal drug trade, whether for marijuana or other substances, does not just endanger others but also themself, their family, and their neighbors by making themself a target. Second, the General Assembly must take action to establish a legal marijuana market now. The sooner that the General Assembly brings the sale of marijuana out of the shadows and into the legitimate business world, the less likely are tragic cases such as this one.”