Virginia Beach double fatal shooting suspects’ charges upgraded to felony murder

Posted at 8:09 AM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 14:27:08-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Two men facing a large list of charges spanning from Virginia Beach to Hampton were in court Friday.

James Cole Gregory (left) and Leonard Allen Morrison III (right)

The cause of 20-year-old James Gregory and 29-year-old Leonard Morrison doesn't just start and end with one crime.

The two men are charged in a robbery, an officer-involved shooting in Hampton and a murder in Virginia Beach.

Between the two of them, Gregory and Morrison are looking at over 40 charges.

In court Friday, their charges of first degree murder in connection with deaths of 28-year-old John Rathjen and 23-year-old Rayvon Miles were upgraded to felony murder.

A close friend of Rathjen and Miles says the two were roommates, renting the home where police found them in the 2200 block of Archives Court.

She says they were like family to her.

"It just crushed me, because I'm so used to seeing them," says Shameka Covil.

She says Gregory was also a close friend to all of them. She called him Sunday after hearing about the murder, not knowing she was speaking to the man who might be responsible.

"I had to call him just to see if he knew, and he acted like he didn't know, so now it's just kind of crazy that I'm finding out that he's the one behind it."

Both Rathjen and Miles spent time with the Union Mission in Norfolk prior to living in Virginia Beach.

A detective said officials were told the defendants went to the home on Archive Court back in June to sell Rathjen 60 grams of Xanax for $100. The drug deal turned into a robbery and eventually murder.

The detectives also said they were told the defendants went to Busch Gardens and a pawn shop after the murders.