Man sentenced to 81 years for role in deadly Newport News home invasion

Posted at 2:42 PM, May 31, 2019

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced to a total of 81 years behind bars for his role in a 2014 home invasion that left a woman dead and another wounded.

Joe Thomas was one of three men who forced their way into a residence May 10.

That night, Newport News Police responded to reports of a shooting victim at a convenience store in the 2600 block of Jefferson Avenue around 3:56 a.m.

A 29-year-old Newport News woman with a gunshot wound to her arm told officers that a second woman had been shot inside a residence in the 2200 block of Jefferson Avenue.

Police and medics found the second victim with a gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to witnesses, both victims, along with two men and four children, were in the residence when there was a knock at the door. Thomas, along with 31-year-old Jason Robles and another man, forced their way in.

During the altercation that followed, the victims were shot. The suspects left the area and the surviving victim, the children (ages 5-8) and the two men then went to the convenience store.

Robles was sentenced to 133 years behind bars after being found guilty of second degree murder, three counts of abduction, abduction by force to deprive, malicious wounding, six counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony and discharge of a firearm in an occupied building.

Thomas was found guilty of second degree murder, four counts of abduction, seven counts of use of a firearm and one count of malicious wounding.