By Linda Cicoira
The man suspected in the Onancock murder of Brian Lee Daley earlier this year pleaded guilty Monday to gun offenses and littering in Northampton Circuit Court in connection with incidents that happened the day before Daley’s death.
Thirty-one-year-old Brandon Jamar Beach, of Exmore, pleaded guilty to use of a firearm while committing or attempting to commit malicious wounding. The actual attempted wounding charge was not prosecuted. Two counts of extortion were also dropped in the plea bargain. In addition, the defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, discharging a firearm in the street, discharging a firearm across Main Street in Exmore, and the littering a cigar butt and shell casings from the gun.
Beach apologized to Judge W. Revell Lewis III for his actions. “I could have handled the situation a whole lot better than I did,” the defendant said.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton said the bargain was struck because the victim and his girlfriend, who would have been asked to testify, are felons and would make unreliable witnesses. The prosecutor also noted that because of the murder charge the defendant faces in Accomack County, “he has bigger fish to fry.”
Beach was given the mandatory three-year term for use of a firearm in the felony, a 12-month suspended sentence for brandishing a gun, a fine of $250 for shooting across a road, and a fine of $250 for littering. The terms were set to run consecutively. The defendant will be on supervised probation for five years after release.
The 49-year-old murder victim was killed on March 7. In that case, the defendant was listed in court records as living on Jackson Street, in Onancock, where Daley died. The defendant was indicted in that Accomack case on counts of first- and second-degree murder of Daley, use of a firearm in a felony, robbery of Daley, displaying a firearm in a robbery, two counts of stealing a credit card, two counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle, and reckless handling of a firearm.