By Nancy Drury-Duncan –
Three men involved in a fight in cell-block E in July 2021 at Accomack County jail were sentenced for unlawful wounding. The victim, Derek Robinson, was described as “no angel” by Northampton County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton who prosecuted the cases. The inmates had “a civil order,” he said. “They had a system that worked well for them.” Each person had a time to use the telephone. There was a general order that made life behind bars easier, he told the court.
Then, a stranger moved into cellblock E. Derek Robinson, from New Jersey, was not accepting of the “civil order.” Thornton said Robinson repeatedly threatened the others. He told them he was a gang member and threatened to kill them or have them killed. Finally, they had enough and there was a fight. Before deputes could get there and break it up, Corbin Kenji Drummond, 42, of Atlantic, Traquan Timmons, 22, of Tasley, and Dijon Ryheem Smith, 30, of Fredericksburg, Va., were all involved. Most of the men in the cellblock watched from the sidelines, Thornton said, but these three did not.
Thornton said Robinson “brought much of it upon himself” by infringing on the phone time of others, mouthing off, and generally causing a disturbance. It started when Robinson struck Dijon Smith. Smith got on top of Robinson and Timmons piled on top of them. “After a few minutes of mutual combat, it became a group of three beating up on Robinson,” Thornton said. He said the attack may have been provoked but then went too far.
All three were charged with malicious wounding. Drummond and Timmons pleaded guilty in March to the lesser charge of unlawful wounding in a plea agreement with the commonwealth. Thornton said Robinson did not come to testify against those who beat him badly enough to require hospitalization because, “he was in Philadelphia committing a murder.” The third man, Dijon Smith, was the primary offender in the incident, according to Thornton. He pleaded guilty in April to unlawful wounding and assault and battery. Traquan Timmons, described as having “a long and violent criminal history as a juvenile,” was sentenced to five years with all but one year and six months suspended for unlawful wounding. He was ordered to be on supervised probation for one year after his release and 10 years of good behavior. “This sentence is not concurrent with any other,” said Judge W. Revell Lewis III.
Corbin Drummond was sentenced to five years with all time suspended for his conviction of unlawful wounding. He will be on one year of supervised probation and 10 years of required good behavior. Dijon Smooth, who Thornton described as more culpable than the other two, was sentenced to three years and six months, with two years and six months suspended for unlawful wounding and 12 months with six suspended for assault and battery for a total of one year and six months of active jail time. He will be on supervised probation for one year and good behavior for 10 years.
“This was a very violent situation,” said Judge Lewis.
Joshua Michael Green, 25, of Chincoteague, charged with attempting to buy a gun while under a protective order and making a false statement on a firearm purchase application, entered into a plea agreement with the commonwealth. In exchange for his plea of guilty, the charge of making a false statement will not be prosecuted. Adjudication on the felony charge of attempting to buy a firearm will be deferred for two years. He will be on probation during that time. If he is successful, he will be found guilty only of a misdemeanor.
Green attempted to buy a firearm at Circle Arms gun shop on Chincoteague. A Virginia State police investigation of his application showed he was the subject of a protective order in New York. Defense attorney Brandon Matthews said his client has no criminal history and has a government security clearance. “You will be on supervised probation until June 6, 2024,” said Judge Lewis. “If you comply, you will be found guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Tania Zyonna Tyler, 29, of Horntown, charged with embezzlement from the U.S. Postal Service, entered into a plea agreement with the commonwealth. She was a Postal Service employee who worked in the Assawoman, Saxis, and Withams post offices, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Baker. Her crime was discovered by a substitute post office employee who noticed the financial reports and receipts did not match. “She logged transactions that had no receipts,” said Baker. She admitted pocketing the cash but could not believe she had taken as much as $5,936.28, he said.
“The commonwealth has agreed to defer adjudication in the case in exchange for restitution payments of $200 a month for 30 months. Tyler must report to probation and parole during that time. Baker said the USPS recommended this solution.
“The case will be continued to Dec. 24, 2024,” said Judge Lewis. “You cannot skip a payment. If you could pay a little extra, that would give you some leeway if something came up.” He ordered her to be on supervised probation during that time and to be on good behavior.
A presentence investigation report was ordered for Timothy John Vanhart, 25, of Atlantic. He pleaded guilty to several counts of breaking and entering. Vanhart broke into several homes in the fall of 2021. He is also charged with property destruction and grand larceny in connection with those incidents. He is to be sentenced Sept. 6.
Cadeem Bresean Baines, 27, of New Church, chose to participate in the first offender program. In June 2021, police were called to a Parksley home where Baines was sitting on the hood of a car drinking a Corona beer and causing problems, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William Fox. Baines was arrested and charged with drunk in public. When he was taken into custody and searched, police found a bag containing cocaine concealed inside his shoe. If he successfully completes the program, which includes a year of probation, remaining drug- and alcohol- free, completing 100 hours of community service, and payment of court costs, the felony cocaine charge will be dismissed. He was fined $50 for his conviction of public intoxication.