Former security guard convicted of murdering man in Chesapeake neighborhood sentenced to 30 years

Posted at 4:54 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 12:51:23-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — 23-year-old Johnathan Cromwell will serve 30 years in prison after a judge sentenced him Monday in court. With time served and with good behavior, he could possibly only serve 23 years, according to officials in court.

The judge sentenced Cromwell following a jury recommendation that came on the heels of a trail that took about two weeks back in February.

Cromwell was convicted of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Through the investigation and trial outcome, he has already served almost two and a half years in prison.

Cromwell's defense team in court Monday announce intentions to appeal the ruling in this case.

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The jury could have recommended anywhere between eight to 43 years for the two offenses. They recommended Cromwell serve 27 years behind bars for the murder charge, and three years are mandatory for his charges of use of a firearm.

Johnathan Cromwell

The armed security guard was arrested after a January 26, 2017 shooting near the Riverwalk Clubhouse.

Cromwell was working as an armed security guard for Citywide Protection Services LLC the night he shot 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen who was driving a van near the Clubhouse. Chen died at the scene.

Chen's family and prosecutors in the case maintain Chen was playing Pokémon Go that night and was unarmed. Cromwell told the jury Chen was previously barred from the private property and when Cromwell went to confront him, he drove his car toward Cromwell, who fired to stop the vehicle, he said.

Cromwell's defense attorney Andrew Sacks, said the family does plan to appeal the case. Until then Cromwell has to start the sentence the judge imposes.