PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – On Maple Avenue in June 2022, children had just boarded school buses when someone stormed into a home and shot four unrelated people in what has been described as a boarding house.
Weeks later, police named 40-year-old Antwann Gore and a relative, 57-year-old Raymond Gore, as the killers. But in General District Court preliminary hearings, prosecution cases fell apart based on conflicting evidence from a so-called eyewitness.
The prosecution then called for a second take.
In January, a grand jury indicted Antwann Gore, and in March, a grand jury indicted Raymond Gore on multiple charges of aggravated murder, use of a firearm and shooting or stabbing in the commission of a felony.
In a bond hearing Friday morning for Raymond Gore, prosecutors presented some of the same evidence that previously prompted two dismissals. Defense attorney Michael Massie was blunt in his assessment.
“The case that has been presented twice,” Massie said. “We are convinced it is not sufficient.”
The defense, Massie and Nathan Chapman, pointed to what they call a glaring discrepancy. A victim who was clinging to life when first responders arrived reportedly gave police a brief description of the killers.
“What’s so important about that statement is that the witnesses indicated in his dying declaration to the police officer that ‘two young black males came into the house and shot us up;’ that’s what the witness said,” Massie said. “My client is 57 years old; nobody is going to look at my client and say he is a young black male.”
Discrepancies aside, Judge Johnny Morrison denied bail for Raymond Gore, who faces 12 counts in relation to the Maple Avenue murders.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales issued a statement to 10 On Your Side regarding the complexities of the Maple Avenue case.
“The Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is committed to seeking justice for victims and community safety and that requires us to fight no matter how difficult the path. This office does not shy away from complex cases and has a duty to treat all witnesses with dignity while seeking the truth. Ultimately, this matter will be placed in the hands of the jurors or judges serving Portsmouth as factfinders and this office will respect the outcome.”