Commonwealth v. Sheldon Andre Swilling; Jury Recommends 33 Years in 2009 Killing of Beach Teen

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Sheldon Andre Swilling, 22 years old, previously residing on Sally Anne Place  in Newport News, Virginia, was found guilty by a jury on charges of First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery (Attempt), and two counts of Use of a Firearm.    Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick presided over the two-day trial.  The jury recommended a sentence of 33 years imprisonment.  Judge Padrick will formally sentence Swilling on December 13, 2011.            


The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on April 10, 2009, the victim, Isiah Jones, went to pick up his girlfriend from work at the Jumpin’ Monkey in the Lynnhaven Crossing Shopping Center.  Isiah and a friend sat in Isiah’s car in the parking lot as they waited for her shift to end.  Sheldon Swilling approached through the passenger’s open door, pointed a gun at them, and demanded the chain from Isiah’s neck.  As Isiah attempted to pull off the chain and hand it to Swilling, Swilling fired one shot, striking Isiah in the chest.  Swilling then fled the area and Isiah passed away at the scene.


Homicide detectives with the Virginia Beach Police Department identified Swilling as a suspect after shell casings left at the scene matched those of an unrelated shooting incident in which Swilling’s gun had been used by another individual.  When arrested and questioned by detectives, Swilling confessed to the murder of Isiah Jones.  He also told a friend that he had “shot somebody over money or a chain.”   


Swilling’s prior record includes a conviction in Virginia Beach for Brandishing a Firearm.    


Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin D. Stolle and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Philip C. Hollowell prosecuted the case. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.