Man claims innocence after being convicted for killing his cousin


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Ronald Best has been convicted of shooting and killing his own cousin, 49-year-old Samantha Garner. 

A jury found him guilty back in January of voluntary manslaughter and unlawfully shooting at an occupied dwelling. 

But, he says police have the wrong guy.

“I reached out to you guys because the truth needs to be brought out, every morning I wake up feeling bad knowing that I’m charged with the death of my own family member and I love all my family,” said Best.

Back when the killing on Kimball Terrace in Norfolk happened, Best and 50-year-old Ulysses Butler were charged in connection to the shooting. 

Officials say the investigation revealed Butler and Best got into an argument that turned into a gunfight.

Police say moments after Best returned to his car, Butler fired shots toward him.

“He proceeds to open up fire for no apparent reason, it wasn’t anything about any sausage that was a lie,” Best stated.

Officials say Best then got out of his car and returned fire at Butler’s home.

Samantha Ganther was inside and was shot in the crossfire.

“I was shocked because she was someone I confided in, she was a very close friend,” Best said.

He says while Butler did shoot at him and others in the car, he didn’t fire back.

“All I did was lay down over top of my little brother, basically I sacrificed my life that day while the bullets were coming in the car,” Best said.

He claims a family friend is the one who fired the gun killing Garner. 

Court documents are sealed, and prosecutors haven’t charged anyone else in this crime. 

Best is scheduled to be sentenced next month and his lawyer won’t comment on his client’s claims.

Butler served 10 months in a home incarceration program.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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