General District Court Judge Deborah C. Welsh on Tuesday amended charges against the 18-year-oldman charged in connection with a March Sterling homicide.
Bryce T. Thomas was arrested on March 31 and charged with felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent following a March 8 shooting in the area of Rusty Blackhaw Square that left Jeremiah D. Gray, a 20-year-old man from Temple Hills, MD, dead.
Under Virginia law, any person under the age of 29 who was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile at or above the age of 14 and was convicted of a violent felony faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years in prison. Welsh agreed with the request by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to strike the word “violent” from a description of Bryce’s prior felony conviction. However, she acknowledged the juvenile conviction occurred within the past 10 years, meaning Bryce faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years.
Welsh also agreed to reduce Bryce’s felony possession charge to unlawful possession of marijuana, which carries a maximum punishment of a $25 fine, as opposed to a prison sentence of 1-10 years.
Bryce’s case will now move to the Circuit Court for trial.
Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office detectives determined the case surrounding Gray’s homicide involved a prearranged meeting between Thomas and a female. When the female arrived with Gray, an altercation ensued between Gray and Thomas, which erupted in gunfire. The female fled and was located by investigators the following day.
Thomas has been held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center since March.
Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Michele Bowman confirmed on Monday that charges related to the fatal shooting have yet to be filed in the case.