Alexander Hunter Picott-Cleveland was in Northampton County Circuit Court on Wednesday for sentencing on his conviction on January 8, 2017 for shooting Mora Jones, Ranquise Kauffman and Andrea Johnson on June 8, 2016. Cleveland was convicted on 3 counts of malicious wounding 3 counts of displaying a firearm in a threatening manner and banishing of a firearm at his trial on January 8. Cleveland subsequently pled not guilty on May 5 to the murdering of Ronnie Graves on June 8, 2016. He was found guilty of second-degree murder after his two-day bench trial by Judge Lewis.
The sentencing for the 23 year old for both trials was conducted on Wednesday by Judge Lewis after the defendant verbalized remorse for killing his friend and cousin Ronnie Graves and wounding Jones, Kauffman and Johnson at the high school graduation party in Exmore. Graves was killed at Cleveland’s parents’ home on Arlington road.
Judge Lewis told the defendant that, based on testimony, the murder victim was attempting to help him shape his life before this very serious crime was committed. Lewis told the defendant that he was going to exceed the guidelines but not sentence him to the maximum of 138 years. Lewis then told the defendant that he was going to sentence him for a second-degree murder to 27 years on the murder charge +3 additional years for the use of a firearm and as for the 3 malicious woundings in Exmore, he was going to sentence him to a total of 15 years giving him a total of 45 years of active jail time.
In Virginia, a sentenced defendant must serve 85% of his sentence time meaning that Cleveland will be 57 years old when he is released from state prison.