Commonwealth v. Garry Ta’sheen Hamlin; Judge Imposes Sentence of Life Plus 99 Years for Killing of Friend During Robbery, Wounding French Exchange Student

Monday, October 29, 2018

​Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Garry Ta'sheen Hamlin, 28 years old, formerly of the 100 block of Charles Street in Suffolk, Virginia, was formally sentenced on charges of First Degree Murder, Robbery, Attempted Robbery, Malicious Wounding, Armed Burglary, Conspiracy, Wearing a Mask, and Use of a Firearm (4 counts).  He was convicted of these charges after a five-day jury trial, and the jury fixed his punishment at life plus 99 years in prison.  Circuit Court Judge A. Bonwill Shockley, who presided over the trial, formally imposed that sentence today.   

The Commonwealth's evidence proved that in the early morning hours of August 7, 2016, Garry Hamlin, Deandre Womack, and Michael Scott went to Virginia Beach to commit a home invasion robbery.  They entered a home on 22nd Street at the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach.  At the time, two French exchange students were inside the home.  Hamlin and his accomplices held the occupants at gunpoint and demanded their property.  Hamlin fired a gun, inadvertently striking one of the suspects, Michael Scott, in the head.  Scott collapsed dead, landing on an exchange student, who was also struck by the same bullet.  Womack and Hamlin fled.  The exchange student survived the shooting but has a permanent scar. 

An officer on bike patrol noticed Hamlin running from the home and a foot pursuit began.  The suspect threw several items, including a wallet belonging to one of the exchange students and a .40 caliber pistol that had Scott's blood on it.  He was apprehended a short distance away. 

Hamlin has prior convictions for Possession with Intent to Distribute – Marijuana, Credit Card Larceny (3 counts), Credit Card Fraud (3 counts), Possession of Marijuana, Petit Larceny, Destroy Property, Tampering with Vehicle, Assault and Battery, Brandishing a Firearm, Prohibited Criminal Street Gang Participation, and multiple violations of probation. 

Womack was found guilty of First Degree Felony Murder, Robbery, Attempted Robbery, Malicious Wounding, Armed Burglary, and Use of a Firearm (4 counts) after a bench trial before Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis.  Judge Lewis sentenced Womack to 148 years in prison with 98 years suspended, leaving 50 years to serve.  

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Nickie L. Herron and James S. Panagis prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.