Commonwealth v. Anthony Wayne Prather; Felon Commits 3 Armed Robberies Only Months after Release from Prison; 30 Years to Serve

Monday, June 24, 2013

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Anthony Wayne Prather, 26 years old, who previously resided in the 4200 block of Thalia Forest Lane in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Frederick B. Lowe for charges of Robbery (3 counts), Use of a Firearm (3 counts) and Conspiracy (2 counts). Judge Lowe sentenced Prather to 53 years, with 28 years suspended, leaving 25 years to serve. 


Prather committed these offenses approximately four (4) months after being released from prison for charges of Burglary (6 counts), Arson, Attempted Burglary, Grand Larceny, Conspiracy (2 counts) and Petit Larceny (3 counts).   He was on court-ordered “good behavior” for those convictions.  These new criminal convictions were violations of his “good behavior” periods, which resulted in the Court imposing an additional five-year sentence.    His total sentence today is 30 years to serve.


Prather pled guilty to Robbery (3 counts), Use of a Firearm (3 counts) and Conspiracy (2 counts) on January 7, 2013.  The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that Prather committed three armed robberies of 7-Eleven stores in the City of Virginia Beach.  On June 24, 2012 he robbed the 7-Eleven at 3011 Silina Drive; on July 23, 2012 he robbed the 7-Eleven at 4961 Euclid Drive; and on July 24, 2012, he robbed the 7-Eleven at 200 Aragona Boulevard.  In each of the robberies, he carried a gun, wore gloves, and was covered up with a bandana and hat or hooded sweatshirt.  Each of the robberies was committed between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m., and he took cash from each store. 


Detectives with the Virginia Beach Police Department received information about Prather’s involvement in the robberies, as well as the robbery of a 7-Eleven in Chesapeake. During an interview with police, Prather admitted to the robberies and stated that his girlfriend, Marlena Wielechowski, was the getaway driver in all but one of them.


Wielechowski pled guilty to two counts of Robbery and Conspiracy. She was sentenced to ten (10) years in the Department of Corrections with eight (8) years suspended, leaving two (2) years to serve. She is awaiting trial in Chesapeake on two (2) counts of Robbery.


“Prather is yet another example of criminals who neither appreciate nor fear suspended jail time, nor short stints in prison,” Bryant said.  “This new sentence will guarantee our citizens and merchants will be protected from him for decades.”  


Prather is awaiting trial in Chesapeake on two (2) counts each of Armed Robbery and Use of a Firearm.  Aside from the charges for which Prather was on probation, he has a prior conviction for Concealed Weapon.


The case was prosecuted by Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael D. Defricke.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.