VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach woman found guilty of murdering her roommate back in 2017 will serve 19 years in prison after being sentenced Tuesday.
Per a release from Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin D. Stole’s office, Nancy Michelle Copeland, 51, was formally sentenced on charges of second-degree murder, use of a firearm, shooting in the commission of a felony and possession of marijuana.
She was found guilty after a jury trial that started back in January, in which prosecutors argued Copeland murdered roommate David Gonzalez with a revolver on December 1, 2017, at their unit in the 600 block of Westminster Lane. It happened after a fight over Copeland’s dog, according to Stole’s office.
Prosecutors said the argument continued into the afternoon, and Gonzalez made plans to move out of the apartment. Copeland eventually grabbed the revolver and shot Gonzalez in the right hand and right chest while the two struggled over the door to Gonzalez’s bedroom. Two other roommates tried to save him, but he died moments later.
Copeland originally told police Gonzalez was trying to attack another roommate, but later said she accidentally shot him. She also claimed Gonzalez grabbed the gun while she was holding it.
Judge Steven C. Frucci imposed the jury’s recommended sentence of 19 years in prison and a $50 fine.