Jury trial requested, trial delay for another, guilty plea for third defendant

June 3, 2024

By Linda Cicoira

A Melfa man pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court on a count of knowingly buying or receiving a stolen firearm last summer.

Twenty-year-old Tyquan Raytice Fitchett was indicted on the charge in October. The crime is alleged to have occurred on July 14. Fitchett requested a jury trial. He remains free on an unspecified bond. A trial date has not yet been set.

In another case, 43-year-old Tara Dawn Bonniwell, of Mapp Road in Melfa, was ready to be tried on charges of attempted malicious wounding, felony destruction of property, and leaving the scene of an accident. But the trial came to a fast halt as Judge Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. said, he had a conflict and would not be able to preside. The victims in the case are Jacob Merritt, of Wachapreague, and Riptide Real Estate LLC. The incidents occurred on July 30. A new trial date has not been set.

Thirty-six-year-old Jesse James Mason, of Pocomoke, Md., pleaded guilty to felony eluding, driving without a license, and reckless driving in a plea bargain.

He was clocked in January, on Lankford Highway in Onley, driving a motorcycle at 73 mph in a 45-mph zone. He then went up to 100 mph stopping for police just before getting to Melfa.  During a conversation with the officer, he again took off. Due to his high rate of speed and congestion on the highway, he was not pursued. Other authorities were notified to be on the lookout for him.

Hours later, he was spotted in Tasley and again fled at speeds up to 100 mph. Eventually, Mason crashed in a ditch on Parksley Road near the Royal Farms.

A second count of eluding, a second count of driving without a license, and an obstruction charge were not prosecuted. Sentencing guidelines were ordered. Sentencing was set for June 27.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

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