Commonwealth v. Nijel Isaiah Chambers; Judge Imposes Maximum Sentence for Juvenile in Voluntary Manslaughter Case

Monday, July 21, 2014

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Nijel Isaiah Chambers, 18 years old, who previously resided in the 5800 block of E. Hastings Arch in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick for Voluntary Manslaughter.  Judge Padrick sentenced Chambers to 10 years in prison, which is the maximum sentence for Voluntary Manslaughter.  This greatly exceeds the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines, which recommended that Chambers serve no more than 5 years and 11 months. 


Chambers was a juvenile at the time of the offense but was certified as an adult to the Circuit Court due to the serious nature of his charge. He pled guilty on February 25, 2014.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on the evening of November 17, 2012, Chambers and the victim, Rene Rivera, were in a 7-Eleven store on Baker Road in the city of Virginia Beach.  Chambers and Rivera did not know each other.  A confrontation occurred with a third person.  Rivera, who was intoxicated, bumped into the third person, and Chambers laughed at Rivera.  Words were exchanged between Rivera and Chambers, then both men left the store separately. 


Chambers was walking home with two female family members when Rivera drove past them.  Rivera stopped his van, got out, and got into a verbal altercation with Chambers.  Chambers flashed a gun at Rivera.  Rivera then stated words to the effect of, “Is that what you got? Wait here, I’ve got something for you,” and went back to his van.  Chambers then shot 3-4 times at Rivera, striking him in the back.  Chambers then fled the scene and the victim collapsed a short distance away. Police and rescue responded to the scene, but Rivera ultimately died in the operating room at the hospital.  There were no weapons found in Rivera’s van.


The gun used to kill Rivera was found wrapped in a shirt under Chambers’ bed.  His fingerprint was found on the gun, and ammunition matching that of the crime scene was found at his house. Chambers ultimately confessed to killing Rivera.  He claimed he feared Rivera, even though he never saw Rivera with a weapon.


Chambers has two adjudications as a juvenile for Possession of Burglary Tools and Providing False ID to Police.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Wendy Alexander and Nickie L. Herron.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.