Suspect in 2014 Newport News homicide pleads guilty to charges

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — One of three suspects charged in a 2014 homicide in Newport News has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

Joe Lewis Thomas pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, four abduction charges and use of a firearm in a felony for a home invasion that left 32-year-old Katrice Major dead and another woman injured.

Newport News police said Major was killed after three men forced their way into a home on Jefferson Avenue. Four children and two men were also in the home at the time.

One of the other men arrested, Jason Robles, was sentenced in February to 138 years in prison for his role in the crime. 

Police announced the arrest of the third suspect, 34-year-old Calvon Whitehead, of Las Vegas, in early May. He is faced with several charges including first-degree murder and four counts of abduction.

A robbery charge against Thomas was nolle prossed — or withdrawn — in court last week. Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced July 27.

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