VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A U.S. Navy sailor who was high on drugs used a dumbbell to kill a man last week in Virginia Beach, police say.
The victim was found dead Friday morning at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Edenham Court, at the Eastwick Village Apartments near the Chesapeake line. Police originally listed his death as suspicious before announcing they were investigating the case as a homicide.
Police say the sailor, 41-year-old Jason Jablonski, got into a fight with 45-year-old Herbert Bryant while “on a crack bender” before beating Bryant in the face with a dumbbell. He then pushed the dumbbell down on the victim’s neck until he stopped moving, police said in court documents obtained by 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox.
Police say Jablonski, who the Navy confirmed is assigned to Naval Station Norfolk, then dragged the victim’s body outside before fleeing to a hotel.
He’s been charged with second-degree murder in the case. Meanwhile, 35-year-old Heather Totty is charged with accessory after the fact. Both she and Jablonski are from Virginia Beach.
On March 17, the duo was denied bond.
A neighbor who does not want to be identified saw Bryant’s body on the stairs going up to the apartment,
“I got scared, and I came in the house. I looked at him first. I came in the house, and the next thing I knew, I saw him down on the cement… where he was for a long time,” she said.
What Virginia Beach Police describe is a horrific scene as Bryant was then dragged down the stairs that led to the upstairs apartments.
“I saw the man sitting on the step. I thought he was just sleeping… I went to my mailbox… came back 10-12 minutes later, and everybody said ‘Hey this guy isn’t asleep… he was dead,’” the neighbor said.
Totty is accused of helping drag the body outside too. Court paperwork states “she attempted to clean up the scene, collecting the victim’s belongings in a bag which police later found in a trash dumpster.”
The neighbor is so terrified, she’s barricaded her front door, and still has crime scene tape on her couch.
“When I saw him laying on the cement, it startled me,” she said, adding that she is terrified.
No additional information in the case has been provided by police, but investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Virginia Beach Police Department Detective Bureau at 757-385-4101 or anonymously through Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.