By Linda Cicoira

     A suspect in a 2021 Onancock murder was denied bond Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court after a judge became convinced the defendant “would be a danger to the public” if he were allowed out of the juvenile detention center.

     Judge W. Revell Lewis III made the determination in part because 18-year-old Jordan Eric Ames was unsuccessfully given a second chance for a previous crime. When he stole a vehicle, the charge was stricken after Ames completed probation, but then he stole another one a short time later.

    “It appears to me that you just don’t get it,” said Lewis.

     Ames, who was 17 and lived on Hill Street in Onancock when the crimes occurred, was indicted on counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery, and use of a firearm in the murder and robbery. The victim was twenty-three-year-old Nicholas Kyle Joseph, of Painter.

     Police were called to Johnson Street, which was not far from Ames’ home, at about 3:15 p.m., Oct. 13, 2021, for reports of a single-vehicle crash and because gunshots were heard. When officers arrived, they found Joseph inside the Lexus he had been driving. The vehicle had struck a pole. According to a court document, Joseph had been shot nine times in the head, face, and upper body.

     Defense lawyer Kenneth Singleton made the bond request. Plans were made for Ames to stay with his mother, Cathy Northan, who recently purchased a house in Greenbush. She testified she had arranged for Ames to work at Perdue Foods and that she would be with him there and at home at all times. She also said she would pay for an GPS ankle monitor to be worn by her son.

     While incarcerated, Ames graduated from high school and obtained the highest possible rating for good behavior at the detention center. Singleton asked the court to consider that his prior crimes were not violent and that he is not as flight risk as his family lives in Accomack County.

     Prosecutor Spencer Morgan opposed bond.  He said Ames has shown himself to be a “gradual threat to the community. The risk of flight isn’t the concern. Threat to other people, that is something to consider” due to how “brazen” the crimes were, Morgan argued.

     He said the murder occurred in the middle of the day, in the middle of the street, in a residential area, and involved a drug deal. Probable cause was found by a magistrate and a grand jury, said Morgan. “There was gunshot residue on both his hands,” the prosecutor added.

     Residents across the town heard that police were searching for suspects that had taken off on foot causing folks to stay inside their homes.

     Investigator Nicholas Kugler, of the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, said three people were charged in connection with the murder.

     “The plan was always to kill him,” Kugler said of the victim. Multiple firearms, marijuana, a cell phone, and clothing were found inside the car.

     Ames will be tried as an adult. A jury trial was set for January 2023.

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