By Linda Cicoira
A Daugherty man, who was acquitted of murder and use of a firearm in the death of an Onancock resident last month, is scheduled to go before another jury in March 2024 for possessing or transporting a gun by a violent felon in connection with the murder.
Thirty-four-year-old Vontrell Lataize Trader, of Wist Court, was found not guilty of the second-degree murder of 41-year-old Jamar Antwyn Smith, also known as “Muscle.”
Smith was shot four times, three of the shots were lethal, according to testimony. Two shell casings were found at the scene and had the defendant’s DNA on them.
At the first trial, Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said, “The case was fraught with deception and witnesses who weren’t transparent.” However, he concluded that the DNA evidence and the location of Trader’s cell phone, which was tracked by cell towers, were enough to prove his guilt.
Defense lawyer Patrick Bales argued that just because Trader touched the casings at one time did not mean he pulled the trigger.
Smith was shot to death on March 6, 2022, which was Trader’s 33rd birthday.
Trader pleaded guilty in 2018 to robbery and use of a firearm in a felony that occurred in 2015. Felons are not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.