Commonwealth v. Tommie Lawrence Cherry; Murder over Marijuana Draws Over 22 Years in Prison

Monday, December 08, 2014

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Tommie Lawrence Cherry, 43 years old, formerly of the 500 block of Sandstone Court in Newport News, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan for Second Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm, and Conspiracy to Distribute between ½ Pound and 5 Pounds of Marijuana.  Judge Mahan sentenced Cherry to 53 years in prison with 30 years and 3 months suspended leaving 22 years and 9 months to serve.


Cherry pled guilty on March 6, 2014. Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on April 22, 2012, Tommie Lawrence Cherry, Terrell Antonio Pugh, and Dwayne Tyjuan Riley went to a recording studio in the Pembroke Lakes area of Virginia Beach to buy marijuana from victim Jackie Delice.  Once they arrived and met Delice and the studio owner, an argument broke out about the quality of the marijuana.  Pugh pulled out a gun, and in response, Delice reached for his own weapon. Pugh shot Delice four times, killing him. Delice was able to fire his weapon, striking the wall twice. Pugh, Cherry, Riley, and the owner of the recording studio all fled.  Once they left the area, the owner of the recording studio called police to report the murder and identified Tommie Cherry as being involved.


Terrell Pugh pled guilty to Second Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Distribute between ½ Pound and 5 Pounds of Marijuana, and Use of a Firearm. He is serving 16 years in prison. 


Dwayne Riley is serving two (2) years and two (2) months in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute between ½ Pound and 5 Pounds of Marijuana.


Cherry has prior convictions for Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession of Firearm by Felon (3 counts), Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public, Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Concealed Weapon, Possession Schedule I/II Drugs, Possession of Counterfeit Currency, and Possession of Marijuana.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Michael D. Defricke and Wendy Alexander.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.