Three sentenced for December shooting in Windsor

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT — Three Suffolk residents have pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from a December shooting outside the Windsor School of Dance.

Two teens and an adult were sentenced last week for their roles in the melee that took place during a birthday celebration at the location on Route 460 in Windsor.

Sixteen-year-old Ozie Porter had been accused of firing the shot that wounded a 17-year-old boy outside of the dance school. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge of malicious wounding. Five other felony charges — shooting in the commission of a felony, discharge of a firearm, attempted capital murder and two charges of use of a firearm — were dropped.

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Isle of Wight County Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer said Thursday that Judge Westbrook Parker ordered Porter to be held by the state Department of Juvenile Justice until he turns 21, at which time Porter will begin 10 years of probation.

Farmer said the shooting happened after members of two rival Suffolk gangs met at the Windsor School of Dance during a birthday celebration. An altercation occurred and spilled over into the parking lot.

“There were gunshots coming from multiple directions,” Farmer said, adding that the victim saw Porter shoot him. The prosecutor added that the victim has recovered from his injuries, “but it could have been a lot worse, obviously.”

Farmer said that although there were about 150 people at the scene at the time of the shooting, it was a frustrating case to prosecute.

“When folks that you know are witnesses to something are unwilling to come forward or to assist, that makes prosecuting more difficult,” Farmer said. “It’s difficult when you don’t have citizen cooperation. That’s what happened here. (The victim) knew what had happened, but we know there were other people who were there and saw what happened. We had a couple of witnesses who refused to testify.”

“To some extent you can understand that, when the reason this case came about is because it apparently was retribution for (the victim) testifying (in an unrelated case) in Suffolk.”

Three others were arrested in connection with the shooting.

Dijon Elliott, a 22-year-old from Suffolk, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit malicious wounding. Farmer said Parker sentenced him to a five-year prison term, then suspended three years of that sentence.

Another Suffolk teenager, Akia Scott, 17, also pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit malicious wounding and was also ordered held by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Dijon Elliott and Scott were both originally charged with two felonies, malicious wounding and use of a firearm.

A fourth defendant, 18-year-old Lamar Elliott of Suffolk, faces two felony charges, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, first offense. Elliott’s trial in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 15.