July 28, 2023
Eric Bruno Custis Jr. Vontrell Lataize Trader

Pictured above: Vontrell Lataize Trader (left) and Eric Bruno Custis Jr. (right).

By Linda Cicoira

Two murder cases moved along Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court.

Twenty-six-year-old Eric Bruno Custis Jr., of Wharton Circle in Greenbush, was arraigned. He entered pleas of not guilty to second-degree murder and use of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Tayvion Laquan “Tay Man” Smith, on Dec. 13, 2019.

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A jury trial was previously set for Sept. 26 and 27. Defense lawyer Carl Bundick, who was new to the case, said he would likely want the trial continued until a later date. Custis waived his right to a speedy trial.

Smith was a 2019 graduate of Arcadia High School and worked at Perdue Farms.

In the case of 34-year-old Vontrell Lataize Trader, of Wist Court in Daugherty, a jury trial was set for Oct. 10, 11, and 12.

Trader is accused of second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, and possession of a firearm by a violent felon, in connection with the shooting death of 41-year-old Jamar Antwyn Smith, also known as “Muscle” of Onancock. The offenses occurred March 6, 2022, which was Trader’s birthday.

Police were called to the 26000 block of Drummondtown Road at about 8 a.m.

When deputies arrived, they found the victim with “apparent gunshot wounds.” He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown if the two victims are related.

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