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Tyrek L. Allen Gets 59 Years in Prison for Murder

August 29, 2013

For Immediate Release

Newport News, Virginia

 
 

Newport News man gets 59 years in prison for murder, shooting
By Peter Dujardin, pdujardin@dailypress.com | 247-4749
August 29, 2013

NEWPORT NEWS — A man who was once one of the Peninsula's most wanted fugitives was sentenced in Newport News on Thursday to 59 years behind bars in a July 2012 murder and a February 2012 shooting.

And he faces more charges in an upcoming trial in Hampton in a separate 2012 shooting case.

Tyrek L. Allen, arrested last September after months on the lam, was one of two men wanted for crimes in both Newport News and Hampton.

Circuit Court Judge Randolph T. West — who convicted Allen after a June bench trial — sentenced Allen to 97 years in prison, with 59 to serve and 38 suspended, according to Newport News Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Valerie Spencer Muth.

Allen, 20, who also goes by the nickname "Spanky," was found guilty of first-degree murder; two counts of malicious wounding; three counts of using a firearm in a felony; and two counts of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. (One malicious wounding charge and related firearm count were dismissed).

The murder charge was for the killing of Darntrell Belle, 22, who was shot multiple times on 36thStreet on July 21, 2012. Belle, who was shot in the torso, arms and legs, died the next day.

"It was Tyrek Allen. Tyrek Allen did it," Belle told police before he died, according to a criminal complaint filed in Newport News General District Court.

At the time, Allen was already a suspect in a shooting of three people in Southeast Newport News five months earlier.

On Feb. 21, 2012, police said, a group of four men — including Allen — approached two people on foot at 33rdStreet and Marshall Avenue. One man opened fire, shooting multiple times. The two people who were approached were hit, while a stray bullet struck a woman standing near her car in a parking lot.

Police showed photo spreads to the victims, who identified Allen as the shooter. Charges related to that shooting were also part of the recent trial.

Allen's attorney, David Olson, said Thursday that he is appealing the convictions. "We thought it was not a good conviction," Olson said.

For one thing, Olson asserted that Belle's statement before he died — a crucial piece of evidence in the case — did not meet the legal requirements of a "dying declaration." As such, he contended, the statement should not have been allowed into evidence at trial.

As for the sentence, Olson said state sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of between 45 years and 79 years of active prison time. While Olson asked for a sentence at the low end of those numbers, he said, prosecutors asked for a sentence at the high end. West split the difference, coming in at 59 years.

In the summer of 2012, police in both Newport News and Hampton heavily sought Allen and another man, Floyd Lee Taybron — who police said was Allen's accomplice in various crimes.

"He's a dangerous person, and we need him off the street," Police Chief James Fox said of Allen before a task force went out to try to find the men in July 2012. "We need the public's help in getting him off the street before someone else gets hurt."

The seven-month search for Allen ended in September 2012, when police arrested him following a tip that he was at an apartment on Traverse Road, off J. Clyde Morris Boulevard. Taybron, 20, of Hampton, was arrested a month later in a traffic stop on Jefferson Avenue.

Aside from the case against Allen resolved Thursday, Taybron and Allen each face charges in Hampton in a shooting in Hampton on July 21, 2012 — the same day as Belle's slaying in Newport News. Both men face malicious wounding and gun charges in the Hampton case, with a trial set to begin in early October.

Then, in June, Taybron was charged in a Newport News double homicide from five years ago. He's accused of killing Barry Eugene Richardson, 16, and Keon Otis Flemming, 15, in a gang gunfight on 35th Street on Dec. 30, 2008.

Taybron, who was 16 at the time of those homicides, is also charged with gang participation and firearms charges in those deaths.

Copyright © 2013, Newport News, Va., Daily Press

 

   

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