Man is guilty in break-in, shooting
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Jun 28, 2013, 13:19
PRINCE GEORGE — A Petersburg man has been found guilty for his role in a break-in and shooting in Prince George.
Kip Bailey, 20, was convicted Thursday morning of four felonies, including attempted homicide, grand larceny, use of a firearm to commit a felony and entering a house while armed.
Authorities arrested Bailey in December in connection to the theft of three motorcycles and gunshots fired at a local Prince George resident, Michael Eads. Investigators found Bailey’s cell phone lying in Eads’s driveway after the incident.
During Eads’s testimony, he said that he was awoken by a phone call around 2 a.m. alerting him that his security alarm had gone off. When he went to go look in his detached garage behind his house, he heard rustling from inside and warned whoever it was that the cops were on the way. As he said this, three people dressed in heavy clothing ran out from the garage and past the front of his house toward the street. While fleeing the scene, one of the trespassers fired two shots over his shoulder in Eads’s direction, one of which left a bullet hole above his front door.
Eads said he did not recognize Bailey from the night of the robbery, but his height matched the approximate height of the first trespasser fleeing from Eads’s garage.
The defense argued that evidence of a “specific intent to kill” is necessary for an attempted murder conviction, and that in this case there was not a deliberate intent.
Judge Sam Campbell overruled this motion and said that when someone pointed the gun in the direction of the house and fired, they meant to cause harm.
Campbell was unclear on whether or not Bailey actually fired the weapon, but according to Virginia statutory law, he can still be convicted as a principal in the second degree, or accomplice, to the crime, which is punishable the same as if he had fired the gun.
Bailey awaits sentencing on Sept. 9 as a result of Virginia’s bifurcated trial system, in which a criminal trial is separated into guilt and sentencing phases. The sentencing phase includes the creation of a pre-sentence report that will determine the length of the criminal’s sentence.
Commonwealth attorney Eric Livingston said that judges will not be lenient with cases involving a citizen who is a danger to the local community.
“The sentence is going to be harsh,” he said.
Livingston speculated that Bailey will serve a minimum of two years in prison. Attempted murder is a class 4 felony in Virginia, which is punishable by up to 10 years.
During the trial, Robert Carmichael, a detective for the Prince George Police Department, said that in an interrogation, Bailey acknowledged his presence at Eads’s house at the time of the incident, but denied getting out of the car.
On separate occasions, Bailey said that he had let someone borrow his cell phone before the incident to use as a light source and to make a phone call, according to recorded interviews from the investigation.
In a video recording of the interrogation, Bailey said, “I thought I heard gun shots, but I thought I was tripping.”
When he took the stand on Thursday, Bailey said that he fabricated the whole story from the beginning because he was intimidated by Carmichael. Bailey said that he was staying at his cousin’s house on the night of the crimes, and had let someone borrow his phone.
Bailey’s cousin was not issued a subpoena to testify in court.
The prosecutor said that Bailey’s claim towards Carmichael’s intimidating presence was odd because of the detective’s expressed concern for the future of the defendant and the defendant’s mother who had become a part of the investigation.