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Spotsylvania man gets mixed verdict in Stafford robbery case

One of the men involved in a May 6 robbery in Stafford and a revenge shooting in Spotsylvania later the same day received a recommended 18-month prison sentence from a jury this week, but was cleared of several serious charges.

David Z. Newson of Spotsylvania County was convicted of two counts of conspiracy Wednesday in Stafford Circuit Court. A jury suggested that he serve 18 months in prison on those convictions.

But the same jury acquitted Newson of charges that included armed robbery, grand larceny and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He faced the possibility of life plus 44 years in prison had he been convicted of all the charges.

According to the evidence, Newson was part of a group that planned and carried out a robbery at the Howard Johnson’s motel on U.S. 17 in southern Stafford County on May 6. People were gathering there for what was described as a tattoo party.

Demarjeo Bingham, one of Newson’s co-defendants, testified that he and Newson held two men at gunpoint and robbed them of cash and cellphones. Two other co-defendants, Samantha Heflin and Saffire Greene, also testified against Newson.

Heflin, Greene, Bingham and Anthony J. Puckett have all been convicted or are charged with offenses related to the robbery.

Defense attorney Alexander Raymond repeatedly attacked the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, getting several of them to admit lying at various points of the investigation.

Four people, including two of the robbery victims, have been convicted in Spotsylvania for a shooting that followed the robbery. According to the evidence there, a man who was not involved in the Stafford incident got three of the robbery suspects—including Newson—to come to a motel under the pretense of a marijuana deal.

As they walked through a pathway, one of the robbery suspects was beaten unconscious. The other two were shot at but not hit.

Newson still has pending charges in Louisa County regarding the theft of the guns that were used in the Stafford robbery. The Stafford jury was not allowed to hear about those pending charges.

Newson has already served eight months in jail.

Matt Mroczek