Hampton man sentenced to 35 years in prison for fatal 2016 shooting of church leader

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A man convicted of fatally shooting a church leader in 2016 received his sentence Friday.

Monte Michael Stokes

Appearing in Newport News Circuit Court, Monte Michael Stokes of Hampton learned he would spend 35 years behind bars.

He will serve 25 years for a second-degree murder charge, three years for a use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charge and seven years for discharging a firearm within an occupied building charge. His charge for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon was nolle prossed.

Search warrants described a bloody scene inside a 31st Street apartment in which 51-year-old Eduardo Amezcua’s body was found on December 20, 2016. The warrants say Stokes, then 26, was found injured outside the apartment. He was taken to the hospital for facial injuries and was later arrested.

Inside the apartment, search warrants said police took guns, electronic devices and blood samples. According to authorities, a woman was also inside the home when the shooting occurred. They did not identify her but say she wasn’t hurt.

Police did not say whether or not Stokes and Amezcua knew each other, nor did they release a motive.

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