Jury convicts Hampton man of drug-related murder

Damontaze Montrell Tillery

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man was convicted by a federal jury on charges of use of a firearm resulting in death, drug conspiracy, attempted possession with intent to distribute ecstasy and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to the Department of Justice, in July 2018, Damontaze M. Tillery, 24, arranged to trade a firearm for ecstasy with 31-year-old Javon Stephenson. Stephenson traveled from Virginia Beach to downtown Newport News to conduct the drug transaction.

During the transaction, Tillery murdered Stephenson, who was unarmed and still in possession of ecstasy when he was found dead in his vehicle. Stephenson’s foot remained on the gas, causing his vehicle’s tires to spin until a bystander turned the vehicle off.

An off-duty Newport News firefighter responded after seeing the smoke coming from the vehicle. When he approached the vehicle, he realized Stephenson had a gunshot wound to the chest.

Tillery faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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