Man pleads guilty for October shooting of Hampton auction gallery employee

HAMPTON, Va. – A suspect has pleaded guilty for a October 2018 shooting that left one man dead.

Joshua James Hartman of Newport News was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of reckless handling of a firearm in the death of Courtney Dewayne Thomas, who was working at the Phoebus Auction Gallery when he was killed.

According to Hampton Police, the incident happened in the first block of East Mellen Street. Thomas was found suffering from a single gunshot wound, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the killing appeared to be an isolated incident between two people both employed by the Phoebus Auction Gallery. One of the employees was handling a firearm within the business when a round was discharged, striking Thomas.

Hartman pleaded guilty in September on one count of involuntary manslaughter. His reckless handling of a firearm charge was nolle prossed in July.

He was sentenced to 10 years with nine hears and two months suspended, leaving 10 months behind bars.

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