Stevenson nets jail time

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Martavis J. Stevenson, a 22-year-old Petersburg man with connections to friends in Kenbridge, was sentenced recently in Lunenburg County Circuit Court to one year and three months in jail on a felony conviction of possession of ammunition by a felon, according to Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement.

Stevenson was found guilty on March 1 after a trial before Judge Leslie M. Osborn. The sentence was imposed by Osborn on May 13, after considering a presentence report and arguments of counsel, Clement said.

Kenbridge Police Officer J.T. Anderson made a traffic stop of Stevenson on Sept. 21 for failing to display a town decal on his vehicle. Anderson had seen the vehicle at a residence on North Broad Street for the previous three months.

Under such circumstances, the defendant would have been required to have a town decal. According to Clement, Stevenson’s driver’s license had also been suspended.

Anderson then noticed two boxes of ammuntion (.22 caliber and .25 caliber) in the cup holder on the driver’s side of the vehicle. There was no passenger in the front seat, only in the back seat. While checking the defendant’s license status and criminal history, Anderson learned that Stevenson had four prior felony convictions, including involuntary manslaughter, attempted robbery, unlawful wounding and conspiracy to commit robbery from 2011 in Petersburg.

Stevenson testified at the trial that the ammunition did not belong to him, but as argued by the commonwealth’s attorney, it is about “possession,” not “ownership.” The judge ruled that the ammunition was open and obvious, and within Stevenson’s control.

In addition to his active sentence, Stevenson also received a three-year, nine-month suspended sentence, subject to conditions of good behavior for five years and supervised probation for one year. The sentencing guidelines recommended a range of seven months to two years, with a mid-point of one year, ten months, Clement said.