Commonwealth v. Tavis Jaquan Johnson; 36-Hour Crime Spree Draws 12 Years in Prison

Monday, March 18, 2019

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Tavis Jaquan Johnson, 21 years old, formerly of the 400 block of Williams Court in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick for charges of Robbery, Conspiracy, Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle, and Use of a Firearm.  Judge Padrick sentenced Johnson to 33 years in prison, with 21 years suspended, leaving 12 years to serve.

Johnson pled guilty on October 23, 2018.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on June 9, 2016, Tavis Johnson, Jamal Mitchell, and Zimonion Adams started a 36-hour crime spree in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Around 4:00 p.m., Johnson and his co-conspirators approached a woman in her driveway in Norfolk, drew a gun, and stole her champagne colored Hyundai.  At 6:00 p.m., a champagne colored sedan was spotted in a cul-de-sac in Croatan.  Johnson got out of the vehicle and into a Mitsubishi SUV that had keys on the driver's seat.  A resident who observed this got in her car and chased the Mitsubishi.  She ran the car off the road into the KOA on General Booth where Johnson got out, then back into, a champagne colored sedan and sped off.   

At around 11 p.m. that same night, a woman was driving home to Virginia Beach from Norfolk on I-264.  She was cut off by a Hyundai, and she honked in response.  When she arrived at her home in the Red Mill area, she noticed the Hyundai had followed her home.  Johnson and Adams jumped out of their vehicle, which was driven by Mitchell.  Adams pointed a gun at her and demanded her purse, bags, and car keys.  Her cell phone was also taken during the robbery.  One of the men told her they would come back later for her car.  Two blue bags fell from her car during the robbery.  Fingerprint analysis was done on the bags, and Johnson's fingerprints were found on them. 

The next morning, officers were still following leads as to the location of the victim's phone.  They tracked it to an area off Rosemont Road in Virginia Beach.  Officers spotted Mitchell behind a building and stopped him. The victim's cell phone was found on him, ringing when officers called the number.  All three defendants were seen in video footage at the Wawa on Rosemont Road arriving in the Hyundai which was previously stolen in Norfolk. 

When questioned by police, Johnson admitted to his involvement in the crimes.

Adams, who was a juvenile at the time of the offense but certified to Circuit Court for trial as an adult, pled guilty to Robbery and Conspiracy.  He was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice as a serious offender. 

Mitchell is serving fifteen (15) years in prison for Robbery, Use of a Firearm, Conspiracy, and a weapons charge he incurred while in custody. 

Johnson has prior convictions for Assault and Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (2 counts), Assault and Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (Attempt), Tampering with a Fire Protection Device, and Obstruction of Justice (2 counts).  All of those charges accumulated while he was in jail awaiting trial on this case.  Johnson also has a lengthy juvenile history.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Kari A. Kolar and Emily A. Woodley prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.