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Press Release

Previously Convicted Felon Sentenced for Possession of Firearm During Traffic Stop That Resulted in Death of Newport News Police Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to ten years in prison for being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and felony possession of a controlled substance. Both charges stem from the defendant’s involvement in a January 2020 traffic stop that allegedly led to the death of Newport News Police Officer Katie Thyne.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 23, 2020, Vernon Evander Green II, 38, encountered Newport News Police at the Monitor Merrimac Overlook. Police responded to the area after reports of a vehicle with two occupants who appeared to be smoking marijuana. The officers found Green in the driver’s seat and asked him to exit the vehicle. He failed to comply with the officers’ requests and instead fled the scene in his vehicle.

A later search resulted in the recovery of marijuana in the vehicle, along with a soft cooler bag containing a firearm with Green’s fingerprint on the magazine. Green admitted he had previously been convicted of a felony and was not allowed to possess a firearm.

Today’s sentence in federal court consisted of ten years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and two years in prison for the felony controlled substance offense, with both prison terms to run concurrently to each other. The Court, however, ordered that the federal sentence run consecutively to any sentence that may be imposed in the future for Green’s separate pending charges involving felony homicide in Newport News and bank robbery in North Carolina. With regards to the pending Newport News matter, Green has been charged under Virginia state law with felony homicide, in connection with the death of Officer Thyne, in the Newport News Criminal General District Court. The defendant is presumed innocent of the pending state charges until proven guilty.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:20-cr-35.

Updated April 28, 2021

Firearms Offenses