Man awaits decision on new trial

Published 10:00 pm Friday, June 8, 2018

A Suffolk man found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman will wait four more months to see if a judge will overturn the guilty verdict in his 2017 jury trial and order a new trial.

Martrell Dae’Shawn Beamon, 19, was found guilty of one count of sodomy, one count of rape and one count of abduction, as well as three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The female victim told police she was walking home from work near East Washington Street on Sept. 18, 2016, when Beamon pointed a gun at her and sexually assaulted her.

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Beamon was 17 at the time.

Later, testimony revealed, she saw him walking past her mother’s house and recognized him as her attacker. She got up, went in the house, closed the blinds and seemed shaken, her mother testified Friday.

During the investigation, the victim picked Beamon out of a lineup, and his DNA was matched to the crime scene, according to testimony and court records.

But Beamon’s attorney, Steven Washington, has maintained for months that the victim recanted.

He showed the court a handwritten confession he said he obtained from the victim during a visit to a local fast-food eatery, where he bought her food she didn’t eat. He said the victim has been calling Beamon “her baby,” saying she can’t wait until he gets out, going to visit him in jail and asking how to put money on his canteen account.

He offered recorded phone calls, some between Beamon’s sister and the victim and some between the victim and Beamon at the jail, as evidence.

“Her credibility is shot,” Washington said, questioning why the victim would do all those things if Beamon had truly brutally raped her. “Her conduct completely contradicts what she verbalized on that stand. I think it would be a grave miscarriage of justice to accept anything (the victim) testified to.”

Prosecutor Marie Walls questioned what was in the other phone calls between the victim and Beamon’s family that were not recorded. She said the victim is intellectually disabled and was manipulated.

“There’s some manipulation here, and it’s egregious, but it’s not on the part of the commonwealth,” Walls stated. “There was a lot of pressure going on. She said she was scared.”

After a full day and a half of testimony, Circuit Court Judge Robert H. Sandwich Jr. said he wanted to see briefs from both sides on a couple of issues, including whether the defense filed required documents within the time frame permitted. The next court date is Oct. 1.

In the meantime, Sandwich unequivocally denied a request from Washington for a bond for Beamon. Even if he does set aside the verdict, Sandwich indicated, he won’t dismiss the charges but rather would send them to trial again.

Beamon’s family was upset following the hearing.

“We just feel like he’s gotten a wrong deal,” Malinda Beamon, the defendant’s grandmother, said in the corridor after the hearing. “I feel like he’s getting a bad break.”