Chesapeake man sentenced for using counterfeit money in drug deal, killing dealer

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 18:05:56-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A 20-year-old man was sentenced to 27 years and 7 months Wednesday for using counterfeit money during a drug deal and for killing the drug dealer.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Jon’nathan Kiondre Miller formerly of Chesapeake was sentenced for Second Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.

The judge sentenced Miller to 43 years in prison with all suspended but 27 years and 7 months. This was at the high-end of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines recommendation.

Miller pled guilty on November 2, 2016.

Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on May 2, 2016, Miller and two other males arranged to meet the victim, Devin Lowery Bethea, to buy marijuana.

Miller and his friends met the victim in the parking lot of the victim’s apartment complex just after midnight.

Miller approached the victim and tried to pay for the marijuana with counterfeit money. The victim had a counterfeit marker pen and checked the money to make sure it was real.

At this point, Miller pulled out a .380 caliber firearm and demanded the marijuana. The victim refused, and Miller shot him three times; once in the chest, once in the back, and a graze wound above his left eye.

The victim died as a result of these gunshot wounds. Miller got back into the car and left the scene with his friends, the Commonwealth’s Attorney said.

A few hours later, police received a report of a dead body lying in the parking lot of the 4500 block of Shallowford Circle.

A cell phone and counterfeit money marker were found near the victim’s body. Shell casings belonging to a .380 caliber firearm were also located near the victim.

Neighbors told police that a dispute occurred just after midnight that ended in gunfire, and a vehicle was heard leaving the area at a high rate of speed. A search of the victim’s cell phone allowed police to develop Miller as a suspect. Text messages proved there was an agreement to purchase marijuana made between the victim and Miller’s group.

In an interview with police, Miller ultimately admitted to attempting to rob the victim of his marijuana. He also stated that during the course of the robbery, he did shoot the victim but it was done accidentally. Miller told police that the two men with him did not know he intended to rob the victim.

Miller has adjudications as a juvenile for Burglary, Obtaining Money by False Pretenses, two counts of Grand Larceny, Assault, Petit Larceny, two counts and Possession of Marijuana, as well as convictions as an adult for Possession of Firearm by Felon and a Violation of Probation.