Gun thefts net two years for Rainey

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A 24-year-old Victoria man was sentenced recently in Lunenburg Circuit Court to two years in jail for stealing two firearms from his girlfriend’s aunt’s home on Dogwood Lane in October.

According to Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, Tyrone Rainey was convicted of two felonies: grand larceny of the firearms and possession of a firearm by a non-violent convicted felon.

“An additional 13 years was imposed and suspended upon conditions of good behavior, no contact with the victim, supervised probation and warrantless searches,” Clement said.

The incident arose while Rainey was visiting his girlfriend, Clement said. “Her statement to Deputy Sheriff Tonya Woodson was that (Rainey) went in and out of the house a number of times before her aunt returned home and quickly noticed that a gun case was missing containing two guns: a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle. The aunt said she went back into the living room obviously upset, but before she said anything about the guns, Rainey exclaimed, ‘I didn’t take your guns.’”

“A search of the room where the guns had been stored revealed that a plastic covering over the window had been busted out toward the outside. The girlfriend kept telling the deputy that she had never seen Rainey with the guns, but it was obvious they had been thrown out the back window,” Clement said. “The girlfriend also said she had looked out the back door earlier and had seen Rainey and a friend with his vehicle at the edge of the yard and woodline. When she asked him what he was doing, he yelled at her to go back inside the house.”

According to Clement, two witnesses “voluntarily contacted the police and revealed that they had given Rainey a ride from Kenbridge to Crymes Road, but he had told them to stop at a wooded area next to Thomas Funeral Home so he could find something he had left there. When he came back to the car, the witnesses said he had a gun case which matched the description given by the owner.”

“Deputies Alex Madison and Kevin Abernathy went to the residence on Crymes Road and Madison found the guns in the back seat of a vehicle in the yard. One of the residents confirmed that Rainey had been there. The mother of the house said she had come home late and found Rainey at her house. She told him to leave because she did not want him there. She drove him home without his being able to retrieve the guns.”

Clement said since Rainey had a prior felony conviction from 2012 of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, he was subject to the mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

“If he had been convicted of one of the enumerated violent felonies, he would have been subject to the mandatory minimum sentence of five years,” Clement said.

“Rainey’s original conviction of assault and battery upon a law enforcement officer arose when police officers were executing a search warrant in 2012 at a residence on Mecklenburg Street just outside Victoria,” Clement said. “Rainey attempted to avoid a search of his pants pocket by swinging his arm around behind his back and knocking the officer’s arm away, and then attempting to run away. Rainey tripped and fell, and was apprehended in the yard of the residence. He served seven months in jail on that conviction.”