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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Final Defendant Pleads Guilty To Henry County Plot

Rodney Lamer Hairston Is Fifth Defendant To Plead Guilty To Robbery, Murder Plan That Left One Man Dead

DANVILLE, VIRGINIA -- A Henry County marijuana dealer who plotted with others to rob and murder one of his customers, became the fifth and final defendant to plead guilty to charges related to the 2010 incident when he appeared in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Danville this afternoon.

Rodney Lamar Hairston, 22, of Martinsville, Va., pleaded guilty today in Federal Court to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and in the course of that violation did cause the death of another person in the first degree.

Previously, Keith Clifton Hairston, 26, Tremain Alando Thomas, 27, Quentin Dwayne McNebb, 36, of Martinsville, Va., and Andrew Albert Christian Edward Armour, 21, of Los Angeles, Calf., each pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy and murder charges as Rodney Hairston.

“Mr. Hairston and his co-conspirators orchestrated a robbery that ended in homicide,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Their greed motivated reckless behavior that led to the loss of life. This office will continue to do all we can to curb violent crime and take those dedicated to violence off the streets.”

"Those who use a firearm to commit violent crime, have their fingers on the trigger every time they pick up a weapon. This time they pulled the trigger and took a life. This time and every time, ATF will take these violent offenders off our streets and put them behind bars where they belong," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Richard Marianos, Washington Field Division.

According to a statement of facts entered into the record and agreed to by each defendant, in 2010, Rodney Hairston contacted his cousin, a known gang member, to recruit other gang members to help him rob one of his regular drug customers. Ultimately, Keith Hairston, Thomas, Armour and McNebb agreed to conduct the robbery.

While Demarcus Levon Hairston and Akorean JaJauntex Murphy – the customers – were purchasing marijuana from Rodney Hairston at his trailer home in Henry County, Keith Hairston, Thomas, McNebb and Armour had driven down the road approximately one mile away and were setting up an ambush.

As the two customers left Rodney Hairston’s home, Thomas and Keith Hairston had exited their own vehicle, both armed with loaded pistols. McNebb and Armour waited inside the vehicle.

When Demarcus Hairston’s car pulled up to a stop sign, Keith Hairston and Thomas fired shots into the car, hitting both Demarcus Hairston and Murphy, who was in the passenger seat. Murphy returned fire. After the shooting ended, the car Demarcus Hairston was driving rolled through the intersection and into a ditch, where it came to rest.

Shortly after the shooting, Demarcus Hairston got out of his vehicle and was picked up by a passing truck and taken to a local hospital. Murphy laid on the front passenger floorboard severely injured and moaning. Keith Hairston reached into the vehicle and grabbed the bag of marijuana that was underneath Murphy’s body. Murphy later died of gunshot wounds to his head and chest.

Each defendant faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison for the murder charge and up to five years in prison for the drug conspiracy charge.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Henry County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Donald Wolthuis prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015