Man sentenced to serve 20 years after pleading guilty to fatal 2019 Virginia Beach shooting

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Posted at 8:45 PM, Sep 04, 2021

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A Virginia Beach man was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a fatal 2019 shooting.

29-year-old Ditron Laquay Thigpen pled guilty to charges of second-degree murder, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, burglary at nighttime with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by non-violent felon.

The judge sentenced him to 63 years in prison with 46 years suspended, leaving 17 years to serve. Thigpen also pled guilty to multiple probation violations and received an additional three years to serve, resulting in a total sentence of 20 years to serve.

Officials say if this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on October 5, 2019, there was a large physical altercation between a group of young females on Atlantis Drive in Virginia Beach.

Sherman Lane who lived on Atlantis Drive stepped outside to intervene in the altercation. After separating the young females involved in the physical altercation Lane and other family members returned to Lane’s apartment. Ashley Smith was involved in the physical altercation and called her boyfriend, Ditron Thigpen, and said Lane struck her during the fight.

Around 1:00 a.m., officials say Thigpen came to Lane’s apartment complex, called his name, and kicked in his apartment door. As Lane came out of the bedroom, Thigpen shot him one time in the lower abdomen. He then fled the apartment. Crews responded and pronounced Lane dead.

Thigpen was arrested a few days later. Police say Thigpen was a convicted felon at the time of the homicide. He had prior convictions for eluding police, possession with intent to manufacture/sell schedule I/II drug, obtaining money by false pretenses, attempt to elude/escape police, and drinking while driving/open container.