Sterling Man Found Guilty of Felony in Connection with Fatal Shooting

Circuit Court Judge Douglas L. Fleming, Jr. today found Bryce T. Thomas, the man charged in connection with a Sterling homicide, guilty of felony possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent.

Thomas, 19, also is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He pleaded no contest to both charges on Thursday, with Fleming finding him guilty of the felony and deferring finding on the marijuana charge. Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17—once a presentence report is compiled that will provide the judge with background information on Thomas.

Thomas was arrested on March 31 and originally 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.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office detectives determined the case 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.

No homicide charges have been filed.

In July, General District Court Judge Deborah C. Welsh approved the request of county prosecutors to amend Thomas’ marijuana charge from a Class 5 felony to a civil offense, which reduced the potential penalty from 1-10 years in prison to a $25 fine. Welsh also agreed to amend the possession of a firearm charge.

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 who was convicted of a violent felony faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years. But Welsh agreed to strike the word “violent” while still acknowledging that Bryce’s prior felony conviction occurred within the past 10 years. That reduced the mandatory minimum prison sentence Bryce will face to two years.

Thomas has been held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center since March.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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