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Saturday, 31 January 2009

G-Shyne gang member David W. Dennis Jr., 23, faces six to 10 years in prison for his role in robbing Petersburg residents with a sawed-off shotgun

Under a plea agreement, David W. Dennis Jr., 23, of Disputanta faces six to 10 years in prison for his role in robbing Petersburg residents with a sawed-off shotgun last March as a member of the G-Shyne gang.Prince George County man who robbed or attempted to rob four people in four days as part of his initiation into a Bloods-affiliated gang in Petersburg pleaded guilty yesterday to seven felonies, including criminal gang participation.Petersburg Circuit Judge Pamela S. Baskervill accepted Dennis' pleas and agreed to a defense request to delay sentencing until Wednesday. Under terms of the plea agreement, Dennis will be sentenced in accordance with state sentencing guidelines, which call for no more than 10 years in prison. Dennis has no prior record.
Dennis is the third member of the G-Shyne gang, a subset of the nationally known Bloods, to be convicted in recent weeks for crimes committed in Petersburg as a gang. Their leader, Kalvin B. Kelley, 22, also known as "40-cal," was convicted Jan. 13 of conspiring to kill a Petersburg police detective who had arrested him last year in the robberies for which Dennis was convicted yesterday.
And on Jan. 21, Devonta Binns, 17, pleaded guilty to multiple robbery, gun and conspiracy counts and was sentenced as an adult to serve 10 years in prison.
According to evidence in yesterday's case, Kelley -- the gang's "five-star general" -- directed Dennis and other gang members to rob various Petersburg residents March 7 and March 11.
The victims included two Petersburg High School students who were accosted at gunpoint on the morning of March 7 as they were waiting to ride the bus to school.Dennis and Binns, wearing red bandannas that symbolized their membership, took $3 and two gold rings from one of the teens and about $100 from the second, according to a summary of evidence by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Cheryl Wilson.
Dennis had just joined the gang as a "pup" and was directed to commit the robberies to prove his worth, Wilson said.Earlier that morning, Dennis and Binns -- again at Kelley's direction -- accosted a man walking to work on Halifax Street and threatened to shoot him if he didn't hand over his money. But the man had none. The gang members then found the two high schoolers at St. Matthew and Diamond streets.Encouraging his crew to bring in more money, Kelley set up a personal acquaintance to be robbed March 11. Prosecutors say he directed Dennis and Michael Brown to trick the victim into believing Kelley would meet him at an apartment complex on Commerce Street.There, Dennis accosted the man with a shotgun and the two men struggled with the weapon after Dennis chased him to his car. The man was robbed of $130 and quickly called police after his assailants fled. Dennis and Brown were arrested a short time later.It was after their arrest that investigators began to piece together information about the gang.Defense attorney Shaun Huband, Dennis' lawyer, portrayed his client as a reluctant participant who committed the robberies out of fear that Kelley would harm his family and girlfriend. After his arrest, Dennis was "grateful it was over" and he no longer was under Kelley's influence, Huband said.The G-Shyne gang was formed in 2006, operated in the Tri-Cities area and had 100 members at its height, Wilson said. Three additional suspected gang members will be tried in mid-February.


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