Fitzgerald faces four years in prison

Published 12:33 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Trazel Jamol Fitzgerald, a 22-year-old Meherrin man, was sentenced recently in Lunenburg Circuit Court to four years in prison as a result of shooting a 30-year-old acquaintance in an argument. He was convicted of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The sentence was imposed by Circuit Court Judge Donald Blessing after considering a presentence report and arguments of counsel.

According to Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, Fitzgerald discharged a handgun, known as “The Judge,” which discharges a .410 shotgun shell. Multiple pellets struck the victim in his upper leg and a few pellets hit him in the side of the face. The pellets did not penetrate far, and the wounds did not require surgery.

According to the incident report of Deputy Sheriff Greg Currin, Fitzgerald became angry with the victim, accusing him of another incident, and went to a residence in Meherrin looking for him. When the victim drove up at the location and got out of the car, Fitzgerald reportedly shot at him immediately twice. The victim was unarmed. Other adults at the location subdued Fitzgerald and held him there until law enforcement arrived.

In addition to his active sentence, Fitzgerald also received a 19-year suspended sentence, subject to conditions of good behavior for 25 years, supervised probation for two years, warrantless searches, no contact with the victim, anger management counseling and restitution of $347, according to Clement.

Fitzgerald had prior convictions of damaging property, reckless handling of a firearm and trespassing in 2014 in Prince Edward County. Clement said the sentencing guidelines  recommended a range of 3-5 years and nine months. Clement said he recommended at least the high end of the range at five years, nine months or above if the judge would have been so inclined.