Commonwealth v. Malik Richard Brown: 18-Year Sentence for Robbery, Murder

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

​Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Malik Richard Brown, 19 years old, formerly of the 5300 block of Justin Court in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced for charges of First Degree Murder, Robbery, Use of a Firearm, and Conspiracy.  Circuit Court Judge Padrick sentenced Brown to 29 years in prison with 11 years suspended, leaving 18 years to serve.  This was the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.

Brown was a juvenile at the time of the offense, but his case was certified to Circuit Court for trial as an adult due to the serious nature of the charges.  He pled guilty on March 20, 2017.  If this matter had gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on June 16, 2016, Malik Brown made arrangements to buy marijuana from 19-year-old Gregory Delong.  Brown and Delong knew each other previously, and Brown was unhappy with Delong about the quality of the marijuana Delong previously sold him.  Around the same time, Harold Vincent Cole Jr., who went by the name of "Taliban," owed money to Brown.  Taliban and Brown came up with a plan to rob Delong during the drug deal, so that Brown's debt from Taliban could be made whole.  Taliban encouraged Brown to set up this drug deal with Delong and the two planned to "scare" Delong. 

Around 3 p.m., Delong sent a text message to Brown telling Brown to meet him at 1033 Carriage House Road, in an apartment complex parking lot. When Delong arrived, Brown and Taliban got into his car.  Taliban, who was seated behind the driver's seat, began to strike Delong in the head with the gun. Brown exited the car to see whether the scene had attracted the attention of police or bystanders.  Brown heard Delong begging for Taliban to stop.  Taliban then shot Delong once in the head.  Delong died immediately. 

Taliban and Brown stole marijuana and fled.  They returned to the scene a few minutes later to clean up potential evidence left behind.  They wiped down the inside of the car and took two cell phones belonging to Delong.  Police were called to the scene hours later and began an investigation.  Special Agent Wendell Cosenza of the FBI Cellular Analysis and Surveillance Team (C.A.S.T.) provided critical assistance in this case.  Cell phone records indicated that Brown was the last person Delong contacted before he was found dead. Further cell phone analysis showed frequent communication between Brown and Taliban shortly after the murder and in the days following, including messages referencing news reports of the murder. 

Brown and Taliban were developed as suspects and arrested separately within a few days of the crime.

Cole was found guilty of First Degree Murder, Robbery, Use of a Firearm, and Conspiracy after a three-day jury trial.  He is serving 29 years in prison.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney S. Mario Lorello and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Patrick J. Connolly prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.