PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Charges have been dismissed against the second man accused of killing four people last year in Portsmouth.
57-year-old Raymond Gore was previously facing four counts each of the following: aggravated murder of multiple persons, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and assault: shoot, stab. etc. in commission of a felony.
During his preliminary hearing Wednesday, the judge dismissed the charges Gore was facing due to conflicting evidence and testimony.
Raymond Gore’s relative, 40-year-old Antwann Jacque Gore, was also previously charged with four counts of aggravated murder for the Maple Ave. homicides, but the judge dismissed the charges in December, citing a lack of evidence to hold him.
The quadruple shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. on June 7, 2022. 30-year-old Georgio Davonta Lee, 37-year-old Oleisha Deanna Mears and 34-year-old Ashley Merricks were pronounced dead just after the shooting and the fourth victim, 66-year-old Samuel Jones, died days later.
Wednesday’s hearing began with family members identifying autopsy photos of their loved ones. Shecora Lee’s younger brother was sleeping when he was shot twice and killed. After seeing charges now dismissed against both of the original codefendants, she talked about her disgust outside the courthouse.
“Just reliving it, it just sickens me to look at his picture,” she said. “He didn’t deserve it, none of these victims deserved it. Nobody deserves it, and what we got to go through as family members, it’s heartbreaking. Every time, dismissed, dismissed.”
But Judge Roxie Holder said based on the evidence and testimony given, she could not certify the case to the grand jury.
The Commonwealth called Michael Canty as witness, who appeared in a red Chesapeake Jail jumpsuit. Gore’s defense attorney Michael Massey asked Canty about all 21 of his felony convictions that began in 1997. Massey also got Canty to admit he changed his story about allegedly seeing Raymond Gore exchange money with another man outside the Maple Avenue home.
One of the responding officers testified that Samuel Jones, whom he found wounded at the top of the stairs, told him that “two young black males” did the shootings. But the two co-defendants were ages 40 and 56.
The lead detective told the court that two different kinds of shell casings were found throughout the Maple Ave. home – 9 millimeter and .45 caliber.
Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Nicole Masian along with the lead detective described how the victims died: Mears was shot 13 times, found in an upstairs closet; Jones, who initially survived but died two days later was at the top of the stairs; Merricks was inside the front door at the bottom of the stairs with 5 gunshot wounds; and Lee was shot twice in an upstairs bedroom.
The Commonwealth could continue to pursue the case by seeking charges directly from a grand jury, in a process known as direct indictment.
This is a breaking news story. WAVY News 10’s Chris Horne will have more updates on WAVY News 10 at 6 p.m.