Commonwealth v. Gerard Edward Hayward Jr.; Shooting Victim Fights for his Life Twice; Defendant to Serve 12 Years

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Gerard Edward Hayward Jr., 21 years old, who previously resided in the 200 block of Glendale Avenue in Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge A. Bonwill Shockley for charges of Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Armed Robbery, and Use of a Firearm.  Judge Shockley sentenced Hayward to 32 years in the Department of Corrections then suspended 20 years, leaving 12 years to serve. Hayward pled guilty on July 19, 2011.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on September 26, 2010, Gerard Hayward went to the Food Lion parking lot on Wesleyan Drive in the City of Virginia Beach to purchase marijuana from the victim.  Hayward arrived in a black Dodge Charger.  Upon seeing the victim, Hayward exited the Charger and entered the vehicle where the victim was waiting with a friend.  Hayward displayed a handgun and demanded all of the victim’s marijuana.  When the victim refused, Hayward shot him, exited the vehicle, and fired two more times into the vehicle.  Hayward then fled in the Charger and the victim was taken to the hospital. 


A cell phone with Hayward’s fingerprint was recovered from the scene.  Text messages and phone calls between Hayward and the victim proved that they had planned to meet.  Further, records from a rental car company indicated that Hayward’s girlfriend had rented a black Dodge Charger just days before the shooting.  That Charger was observed at Hayward’s home after the shooting.  When interviewed by detectives with the Virginia Beach Police Department, Hayward admitted meeting the victim at Food Lion but denied knowledge of the shooting.


While in the care of doctors, the victim’s heart stopped at least twice:  once while on the way to Norfolk General Hospital and again on the operating table.  Although he survived the shooting, he had his spleen and gallbladder removed and has extensive scarring.  


The case was prosecuted by Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Wendy Alexander and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Christopher M. Baker.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.