Gun sends man back to prison

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A 27-year-old Keysville man will spend at least six years in prison – and could face an additional half century – after pleading guilty to several felony charges in Lunenburg Circuit Court. Tommy Joe Bailey, who lists his residence as LeGrande Avenue in Keysville, entered guilty pleas to four felony charges: One count of shooting at an occupied vehicle, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and use of a firearm while in the commission of a felony. Bailey is on the cusp of spending an additional 52 years in prison. That sentence for prior convictions was suspended, but can be reinstated under certain conditions. Bailey’s most recent episode took place in September 2017 on Lunenburg County Road. According to a narrative included in a press release issued by the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Alex Madison responded to a complaint from two men who said they had been shot at while in a vehicle in the 10,600 block of Lunenburg County Road. The victims told Madison they recognized the shooter in the backseat of the car as Bailey, and said he fired one shot before screaming an obscenity at the men. The gunshot missed. Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement presented evidence in court on March 20. His presentation revealed that in September 2017 Deputy Madison responded to a complaint that two men in a vehicle had been shot at. The victims told Madison they recognized a friend of Bailey’s in the front seat. Meanwhile officers in Charlotte County spotted the vehicle and found Bailey, Kenny Friend and Cassie Thompson inside. No handgun was found in the car, but based on information provided, Deputy Adam Martin of Lunenburg found the Taurus 709 Slim 9mm on the side of the road where it was thrown when the occupants saw police. No fingerprints were found on the weapon. Bailey would not talk about the incident, but complained that someone in the other vehicle shot at him earlier. The suspended 52 years that now loom over Bailey included conditions of good behavior and indefinite supervised probation. He would also face warrantless searches, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and no contact with the victims. Police also seized more than $2,000 in cash from the vehicle, per the Virginia Forfeiture Act. An ion scan revealed significant evidence of cocaine on the cash. Bailey was previously convicted in 2012 on three felony drug counts, as well as felony child neglect and possession of more than one pound of marijuana. He served five years in prison. According to the release, Bailey bragged at the time, “I am the man. Everybody in Charlotte County gets their weed from me directly or indirectly.”