NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for use of a firearm resulting in death, drug conspiracy, attempted possession with intent to distribute ecstasy, and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Damontaze Montrell Tillery, 24, arranged a trade of a firearm for ecstasy, provided by victim Javon Stephenson.
In July 2018, Stephenson traveled from Virginia Beach to downtown Newport News to conduct the transaction with Tillery. During the trade, Tillery murdered Stephenson.
Stephenson was unarmed and still in possession of ecstasy when he was found in his vehicle. The victim’s foot was still on the gas pedal when he was found, causing the 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, and upon approaching the vehicle, realized Stephenson had a gunshot wound to the chest. Stephenson was pronounced dead at the scene.