Commonwealth v. Marquel Jordon Leary; Ringleader in Violent Murder Sentenced to 41 Years in Prison

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Marquel Jordan Leary, 20 years old, formerly of the 3500 block of Woodburne Drive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci for First Degree Felony Murder, Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Attempted Robbery, Use of a Firearm (3 counts), and Conspiracy.  Judge Frucci sentenced Leary to 76 years in prison with 35 years suspended, leaving 41 years to serve. 

Leary pled guilty on July 11, 2017.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on the afternoon of July 19, 2016, Marquel Leary went to the apartment of Frederico Roundtree on Overlook Court in Virginia Beach. Neighbors saw Leary and Roundtree physically fighting and screaming at each other in the apartment stairwell.  Leary believed Roundtree had previously stolen a firearm from his friend, Maurice Walters. Leary began to devise a plan to get back at Roundtree and sought out Walters and some other men to help him.   

Later that evening, Leary drove his Cadillac and picked up Sean Patterson, Maurice Walters, Casheon Jones, a juvenile, and another co-defendant.  Members of this group brought masks, guns, and latex gloves to help with the revenge plot. The group planned to rob Roundtree of his debit card and take back the gun that belonged to Walters.  Leary and the group decided that Patterson, Walters, and the juvenile would go up to Roundtree's apartment and smoke marijuana with him to relax him and scope out the situation.  They would then give word to the others to come up and do the robbery. 

On the way to Roundtree's apartment, Leary and Patterson communicated with Taiwan Simon, who was in the apartment with Roundtree.  Simon told them to abandon the robbery plan or be prepared for Simon to use his gun to stop them.  When the group arrived at the apartment, those who were to do the robbery put on gloves and masks and armed themselves.  Leary told them to leave their cell phones and wallets in the car so they would not leave evidence behind.  Patterson, Walters, and the juvenile then went to the apartment as planned.  On the way, they passed Simon and two other men.  Ultimately Simon went back to the apartment and warned Roundtree that he was about to be robbed.  As Leary and another co-defendant started to approach Roundtree's apartment with guns drawn, Roundtree came out of the apartment with a revolver. Simon also came outside. 

Roundtree and Leary exchanged gunfire; Roundtree was struck in the leg and Leary in the stomach.  Leary emptied his weapon, firing 11 times, striking Simon in the head and killing him.  Leary fell to the ground in the parking lot, and Walters and another co-defendant stayed with him because they were locked out of Leary's car.  Patterson, Jones and the juvenile fled.  Multiple defendants hid weapons that were used in these crimes.  Two guns and the clown mask were recovered by the police department's forensics unit that night.  During an interview with police, Jones cooperated and led police to one firearm.  Roundtree survived the shooting but has permanent damage to his leg.

The status of the other co-defendants is as follows:

  • Maurice Walters – pled guilty to Malicious Wounding, Attempted Robbery, and Conspiracy; sentencing set for January 9, 2018.
  • Casheon Jones – pled guilty to Malicious Wounding, Conspiracy, and Accessory After the Fact – Homicide; sentencing set for January 10, 2018.
  • Sean Patterson – pled guilty to Conspiracy; sentencing set for January 30, 2018.
  • Juvenile co-defendant – pled guilty in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to Conspiracy; committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for an indeterminate period of time.
  • One remaining co-defendant has a jury trial scheduled for December 11, 2017.  He is facing charges of First Degree Felony Murder, Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Attempted Robbery, Use of a Firearm (3 counts), and Conspiracy.

Leary has prior convictions for Concealed Weapon, Possession of Marijuana, and a few minor traffic offenses. He was convicted of the Concealed Weapon charge just two weeks prior to the murder. ​

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Scott M. Lang and James S. Panagis prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.