The suspect in a 2016 Accomack murder case was convicted of being a felon and possessing ammunition Tuesday in Northampton Circuit Court.
Sixty-one-year-old Joseph Lewis Tykot III, of Martin Road in Harborton, told the court he did not know that he was not allowed to buy ammo because of his 1988 narcotics possession conviction in New York.
Defense lawyer James Broccoletti, of Norfolk, said his client did not intentionally break the law. He was unaware of the restriction and although he has not owned or purchased a gun, he thought that he might be allowed to do that as well since he believed the drug conviction would have been expunged by now.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Vincent deLalla said, “Not knowing is not an excuse.”
The victim’s body was found on June 15, 2016, in “a dirt field” about “145 Feet” from Davis Wharf Road. Court records state Ratigan died from multiple blunt force traumas to the head, neck, and torso. A shoe impression at the site, “indicated that at least one other individual was in the field” with Rhatigan, according to court records. A cell phone that was found near the body belonged to the victim.
The murder indictment was brought in October 2021 but had delays due to Covid restrictions.
Accomack Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan argued against bond saying, Tykot “is a danger to the community.” The prosecutor said evidence will show a cigarette butt found to have Tykot’s DNA on it was found near Rhatigan’s body.
Two of Tykot’s employees were with him the day he bought the ammo. One wanted to buy a gun but was not old enough, according to testimony.