VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A grieving mother will now have a little more closure after two men, Rashadee Jones and Jordan Copeland, took a plea deal on Wednesday in connection her son's death.
Kirshem Sanders died of a gunshot wound and his body was found dumped in a Portsmouth alley in January. Police arrested three people in connection to Sanders' murder: Jones, Copeland and Mekera Washington. All three defendants were charged with accessory to murder after the fact.
On Wednesday, a Virginia Beach Circuit Court judge sentenced both men to five years in prison. While Jones will have to serve four years of that sentence, Copeland will only have to serve one year.
The victim's mother, Vera Sanders, told News 3 she was happy with the plea deal. "He was my buddy," Sanders told News 3's Merris Badcock. "He did not know what was coming for him."
It is unclear why Copeland got a seemingly better plea deal, since both Jones and Washington accused him of killing Sanders. Copeland was even previously charged with murder in this case, but the Commonwealth Attorney's Office had to drop the charge because of insufficient evidence.
However, newly released court records suggest it was Jones, not Copeland, who played more of a role in Sanders' death.
According to the stipulation of facts, after Sanders was shot, the three defendants drove to Jones' house in Portsmouth. Court paperwork says "at Jones' residence, Jones discussed the incident and got guidance."
The three defendants later drove back to the home in Virginia Beach where Sanders' was shot, cleaned up the crime scene, drove back to Portsmouth and dumped Sanders' body in a field in the 100 block of Chautakua Avenue, the court paperwork states.
News 3 spoke exclusively to Jones from behind bars in February. He admitted to cleaning up the crime scene after Sanders was shot to death.
Records indicate the victim’s body was put into an SUV, but Jones said he only did it because Copeland had a gun and he feared for his safety. Jones said he barely knew the suspect and the victim.
Washington has not taken a plea deal in this case. She is expected back in court on July 17th.