Ringleader in violent Virginia Beach murder sentenced to 41 years in prison

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A 20-year-old Virginia Beach man was sentenced to serve 41 years in prison for first degree felony murder, aggravated malicious wounding, attempted robbery, three counts of use of a firearm and conspiracy.

Marquel Jordan Leary

Marquel Jordan Leary pleaded guilty on July 11.

According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Leary went to the apartment of Frederico Roundtree on Overlook Court on July 19, 2016.

Neighbors saw Leary and Roundtree fighting and screaming at each other in the apartment stairwell. Leary thought Roundtree stole a firearm from his friend, Maurice Walters.

Leary came up with a plan to get back at Roundtree, asking Walters and some other men to help him.

Later that night, Leary picked up Sean Patterson, Maurice Walters, Casheon Jones, a teen and another co-defendant.

The group brought masks, guns and latex gloves to help with the revenge plot.

The group planned on stealing Roundtree’s debit card and take back the gun that belonged to Walters.

Leary and the group decided that Patterson, Walters and the teen would go up and smoke marijuana with Roundtree to relax him and scope out the situation.  They planned on telling the others to come up to do the robbery.

On the way to Roundtree’s apartment, Leary and Patterson talked to Taiwan Simon, who was in the apartment with Roundtree.

Simon told them not to go through with the robbery or be prepared for Simon to use his gun to stop them.

When the group came into the apartment, the people who planned on doing the robbery put on gloves and masks and pulled out guns.

Leary told them to leave their cell phones and wallets in the car so they wouldn’t leave evidence behind.

Patterson, Walters and the teen went into the apartment as planned.

On the way up, they passed Simon and two other men. Simon went back into the apartment and told Roundtree he was about to get robbed.

As Leary and the other co-defendant were about to go into Roundtree’s apartment with guns drawn, Roundtree came out of the apartment with a revolver. Simon also came outside.

Roundtree and Leary shot at each other. Roundtree was shot in the leg and Leary in the stomach.

Leary fired 11 times, shooting Simon in the head and killing him.

Leary fell to the ground in the parking lot. Walters and another co-defendant stayed with him because they were locked out of Leary’s car.

Patterson, Jones and other teen ran away.

Multiple defendants hid weapons used in the crimes. Police found two guns and a clown mask that night.

Jones cooperated with police and led them to one gun. Roundtree survived the shooting but has permanent damage to his leg.

The status of the other co-defendants is as follows:

  • Maurice Walters – pled guilty to Malicious Wounding, Attempted Robbery, and Conspiracy; sentencing set for January 9, 2018.
  • Casheon Jones – pled guilty to Malicious Wounding, Conspiracy, and Accessory After the Fact – Homicide; sentencing set for January 10, 2018.
  • Sean Patterson – pled guilty to Conspiracy; sentencing set for January 30, 2018.
  • Juvenile co-defendant – pled guilty in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to Conspiracy; committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for an indeterminate period of time.
  • One remaining co-defendant has a jury trial scheduled for December 11, 2017.  He is facing charges of First Degree Felony Murder, Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Attempted Robbery, Use of a Firearm (3 counts), and Conspiracy.

Leary has prior convictions for concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and minor traffic offenses. He was convicted of the concealed weapon charge two weeks before the murder.