Judge sentences Richmond teenager who killed her son: 'I always keep him in my heart'

Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 18:03:48-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kevon Bynum, who killed three people in two Richmond shootings, was sentenced to 52 years in prison during a Monday sentencing hearing.

Bynum, 19, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the shootings that happened weeks apart in April 2021.

The first happened the morning of April 7, when police were called to the 500 block of Montvale Ave. for a report of a shooting.

Vinshaun Johnson, 18, was found dead at the scene.

Vinshaun Johnson.jpg
Vinshaun Johnson

Court documents for the plea agreement stated Bynum and others had an ongoing disagreement with Johnson.

The morning in question, it said Johnson was lured to Montvale Ave. under the pretense of meeting up with some girls.

When Johnson arrived, the documents said he was "ambushed" with gunfire.

The second shooting happened on April 27, 2021, at the Belt Atlantic Apartments.

Sharnez Hill, 30, and her infant daughter Neziah were standing outside when the gunfire erupted. Both mother and child were killed.

The mother and child were caught in a shootout between Bynum and someone who lived at the apartment complex.

Johnson's family appeared in court to share their pain with the judge following their loved one's murder.

"There's not a day I don't think of my son. But, I do know he's resting now and justice has been served for him," Vinshaun "Tazz" Johnson's mother Barbara Johnson said. "He always there for me, through thick and thin, but I know he's here with me. I always keep him in my heart."

Barbara Johnson 02.jpg

"I hope this will be enough time for [Bynum] and everyone else that's involved in my brother's case to sit back and realize, wait, wait, what damage they did to my family," sister Danielle Field said.

Hill's family wrote letters for the judge to consider.

While the Commonwealth's Attorney asked the judge to sentence Bynum to life in prison, the defense asked the judge for a 15-year prison sentence.

Due to Bynum's clean criminal record prior to the shooting, the sentencing guidelines suggested a prison sentence between 31 and 52 years.

Bynum’s mother and a mentor testified in court on the teenager's behalf.

They said Bynum was raised in a Christian household and called the crimes he committed "out of character."

Kevon Bynum
Kevon Bynum

Both said they believed Bynum could rehabilitate in prison and be a contributor to society.

Bynum read a letter in court that, in part, apologized to the families of those he killed and injured.

Johnson's mother said she doesn't feel he took responsibility.

"Forgiveness is for me. Forgiveness is not for him. God has the final say so in this, so all I can say is have mercy on him," Johnson said.

Bynum’s twin brother Kavon Bynum is scheduled to go on trial for his role in the shootings in December.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.