Man sentenced to 23 years for Portsmouth Chippewa Trail homicide

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A 59-year-old Portsmouth man was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the murder of 70-year-old John Nunamaker back in June 2017.

Franklin W. Layne III

Franklin Layne was sentenced on May 31 after being convicted of the homicide in March 2018.

Layne was sentenced to 20 years on the 1st degree murder conviction and three years for use of a firearm.

Portsmouth Police were called to the intersection of Chippewa Trail and Mohican Drive early on June 8 and found Nunamaker had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Layne was arrested and charged with his murder.

According to the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney, Layne was found to have been romantically involved with Nunamaker’s estranged wife.

Video evidence from the night of the murder shows Layne pulling out a gun and shoving Nunamaker several times before shooting him. Despite a history of violent behavior, the victim had no weapon and made no effort to defend himself against Nunamaker on the night of the shooting.

The video reportedly showed Layne firing one gunshot into Nunamaker’s right temple at such close proximity that the imprint of the gun’s muzzle was burned onto Nunamaker’s skin.

Layne is expected to make a plea deal on June 19 for a possession of firearm by convicted felon.

Related links:

Man convicted in Portsmouth murder romantically linked to victim’s wife

Man arrested, victim identified in overnight Portsmouth shooting