Commonwealth v. Henry Donald Peterson; 25 Years for Murder of Girlfriend

Monday, October 31, 2011


Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Henry Donald Peterson, 60 years old, who previously resided in the 940 block of Thousand Oaks Drive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick on charges of Second Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm.  Judge Padrick sentenced Peterson to a total of 38 years in the Department of Corrections.  Thirteen (13) years were suspended, leaving him 25 years to serve. Peterson pled guilty on May 16, 2011.                     

Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proved that on July 10, 2007, Henry Donald Peterson and his 33 year-old girlfriend, Laquetta Patrice Mullen, were arguing in his home on Thousand Oaks Drive in the City of Virginia Beach.  As Mullen crouched in a closet, Peterson shot her at least four (4) times, twice in the back and in each of her feet.  He then called a family member, said that he had shot Mullen, and asked that relative to call 911.  When the police arrived, Peterson said that Mullen was “acting crazy” and he shot her.  Officers found Mullen lying in the bottom of a closet, facing towards the back.  They found the gun nearby.


“If this is what you did to someone you loved, I wouldn’t want to see what you would do to someone you didn’t like,” Judge Padrick told the defendant. 


Peterson’s prior record consists of convictions for Disorderly Conduct, Reckless Driving, and multiple Drunk in Public charges.


The case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan G. Hooks and Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Sara R. Chandler.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.