THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Friday, March 31, 1995 TAG: 9503310515 SECTION: LOCAL PAGE: B1 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY JUNE ARNEY, STAFF WRITER DATELINE: SUFFOLK LENGTH: Medium: 76 lines
Dwayne Markee Reid was involved in two murders on the same street within three years, both before he turned 17. But a judge on Thursday made sure Reid won't return to Cullodan Street any time soon.
``What angers me the most about this case is your absolute and complete lack of remorse for what happened in this case,'' said Circuit Court Judge Westbrook J. Parker, in sentencing Reid to life in prison for the 1993 murder of Thomas Runyon, 32.
Reid, now 18, showed little emotion as the judge sentenced him to life for capital murder, life for armed robbery and five years on a firearms charge before suspending one of the life terms. Reid's parents sat behind him.
Two of Runyon's sisters buried their faces in their hands and cried quietly in the second row of the courtroom when the judge said he would not impose the death penalty.
Runyon's 68-year-old mother waited at home for the news. She couldn't face going to court.
``They should have taken his life,'' said Juanita Smullen, one of Runyon's sisters, after the sentencing. ``He took Tommy's.''
Reid, nicknamed ``Moot-Moot,'' will be eligible for parole in 30 years. He plans to appeal.
Minutes before the judge pronounced sentence, Reid stood before the court and apologized. ``I'm sorry it happened,'' he said. ``I'm sorry his family was hurt by the situation.''
Later, Runyon's sisters said Reid's apology meant nothing to them.
`` `Sorry' doesn't get it - not when someone's life is gone,'' said Kathy Runyon, who lives in Suffolk. ``I hope I'm still living the day he gets out because I'm going to do everything I can to stop it.''
Prosecutors had argued that Reid should get the death penalty for killing Runyon on July 23, 1993.
After taking Runyon's money, ``This defendant stepped back from the car, turned, pointed his gun and shot Thomas Runyon in the head,'' said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ken Phillips. ``He shoots to kill and he murders Thomas Runyon for no reason.''
Prosecutors sought the death penalty based on Reid's potential danger to others, referring to the earlier killing, in which there was a plea agreement. Reid was found not innocent of murder in Juvenile Court but appealed to Circuit Court. There, murder, malicious wounding and a firearms charge were dropped. Reid was found not innocent on two armed robbery and two firearms charges.
Reid spent 11 months in a juvenile detention center and a learning center.
If he had been convicted of murder in that case, the most serious punishment he could have received was an indeterminate sentence in a juvenile facility.
Seven months after his release in connection with the earlier killing, Reid, then 16, shot Runyon to death.
``What you have here in this case is a clear demonstration by the defendant's own acts of what he will do in the future,'' said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney F. Jefferson James.
``This was a killing for fun. I submit to you a killing for no other reason than to see what it felt like. I believe Dwayne Reid would kill again.''
But Timothy E. Miller, one of the lawyers representing Reid, argued that even a finding of future dangerousness does not mean that the death penalty should be imposed. He argued that his client, as a 16-year-old at the time of the crime, didn't fully understand the consequences of his actions.
Miller said Reid's mother was trying to move from the area where they lived, which is plagued by drugs, on the day Runyon was killed.
``She was one day too late,'' he said. ILLUSTRATION: Color photos
Dwayne M. Reid
KEYWORDS: MURDER SENTENCE by CNB