Commonwealth v. Timothy Josaahn Watson; Judge Imposes Sentence of Life Plus 53 Years for Murder by Previously Convicted Felon

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Timothy Josaahn Watson, 28 years old, formerly of the 500 block of Bulkey Place in Newport News, Virginia, was formally sentenced for charges of First Degree Felony Murder, Robbery (2 counts), Use of a Firearm (2 counts), and Conspiracy.  Watson was found guilty of these charges by a jury on March 28, 2017.  The jury fixed his punishment at life plus 53 years in prison plus a fine of $100,000.  Today, Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis, who presided over the six-day trial, formally imposed that sentence.

The Commonwealth's evidence proved that on May 29, 2015, Timothy Josaahn Watson, Raiquan Lamont Turner, Keith Mitchell, and a female went to RC's Gentleman's Club in Norfolk.  The victim, Paul Abbey, and his friend also went to RC's to celebrate Abbey's friend's birthday.  Abbey and his friend weren't having a good time at RC's so they decided to go to Cheetah's Gentleman's Club in Virginia Beach.  They encountered Watson and his group in the parking lot of RC's and had a brief conversation about heading to Cheetah's.  When Abbey and his friend got to Cheetah's, they saw Watson's group enter the parking lot and park across from them.  Turner asked Abbey for a cigarette and again they made small talk.  Both groups eventually went into Cheetah's and had drinks.  Watson's group left prior to the victim's group.  Once outside, Watson said that he wanted to rob someone because he needed money. Turner agreed to the robbery, but Mitchell decided he didn't want to be part of it.  Watson gave Turner a gun and ordered Mitchell to move the car to a location farther away from where the victims' vehicle was parked.

Abbey and his friend left the club after last call, and as they approached their vehicle, Turner and Watson approached them and pointed a gun at them.  As Turner robbed Abbey's friend, the gun went off, grazing him in the head.  As the friend was on the ground, he felt Turner going through his pockets. He then heard another gunshot and realized Abbey had been shot.  He saw Turner and Watson going through Abbey's pockets.  Turner and Watson then ran back to the waiting car and fled with Mitchell driving.  Abbey was shot in the back of the neck and died at the scene. 

Watson, Turner, Mitchell, and the female were observed on surveillance footage from Cheetah's. Turner and Watson were identified as suspects, and Abbey's friend identified both of them.

Raiquan Turner was convicted of First Degree Felony Murder, Robbery (2 counts), Use of a Firearm (2 counts), and Conspiracy after a jury trial. He was sentenced to three (3) life terms plus 18 years in prison. Keith Mitchell pled guilty to Accessory After the Fact – Homicide and was sentenced to five (5) years in prison with four (4) years suspended leaving one (1) year to serve.

Watson has prior convictions for Unlawful Wounding and Unlawfully Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Elliott H. DeJarnette V and Jessica C. Koepf prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.