2 face charges in 2012 killing
By Staff Reports
Dec 16, 2013, 13:51
HOPEWELL — Two men have been charged in a shooting death that happened just over a year ago.
Police say Chaz Jherron Brown, 24, of Hopewell, and Andre Cordell Mason Jr., 26, of Hopewell, were indicted Dec. 11 by a grand jury on charges of murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Mason is being held without bond at the Riverside Regional Jail, and Brown is being held without bond in the Petersburg City Jail.
Brown was already in jail in Petersburg, awaiting trial on charges that he opened fire at police officers during a chase earlier this year. Mason was also one of the four men originally charged in the incident.
The killing in Hopewell dated back to Dec. 3, 2012.
Around 10:35 p.m., two men were shot in the 1500 block of Piper Square Drive, in the Piper Square public housing complex. One victim, Morris D. Flowers Jr., 46, died from his wounds. A second victim, Lamonta Ellis, 30, from Spring Grove, was also shot, and he was flown to Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center. He has since recovered from his injuries.
At the time, police said two or possibly three males dressed in all black wearing black masks opened fired on the victims in the breezeway between apartments. They left the scene on foot towards the back gate of Piper Square towards Old Iron Court. A vehicle was possibly parked just outside the gate on Old Iron Court.
“Based upon on our investigation it appears the deceased victim, Mr. Flowers, was not the intended target but was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We have expressed our deepest sympathies to the Flowers family and we are thankful to bring some closure to them during the holiday season,” said Chief John Keohane in a statement.
Brown and Mason were initially charged in August with malicious wounding in the incident.
Brown was already in jail in Petersburg at the time he was charged.
In Petersburg, Brown is facing two charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, shooting at emergency vehicle and shooting from a vehicle in relation to an incident that happened Jan. 9, just over a month after the Hopewell shooting.
Petersburg police said a group of four men were in a car that opened fire at officers during a chase. Around 11:47 p.m., police on South Crater Road heard shots fired and tried to stop a suspicious dark-colored SUV. Police said someone in the SUV then began firing at police.
Officers returned fire and the SUV fled onto Interstate 95 and then exited onto Wagner Road.
Police say the SUV crossed the median and struck a police car. Police say Mason fled the scene.
A MAC-10, a semi-automatic pistol was recovered from the SUV.
Brown, Mason, Darius Deandre Harris, then 18, of Hopewell, and Bennie Young, then 41, of Petersburg were all charged. Charges were set aside against Mason and Young in July.
Brown and Harris are still awaiting trial.
Mason has also faced drug charges in the past, according to online court records. He was charged in Hopewell with drug possession in 2007. He was also charged with distribution of cocaine in 2010 and was sentenced to 1 year and 1 month in prison. He was also charged with drug possession in Prince George in 2011 and sentenced to 1 year in prison.
Mason is set to appear in Hopewell Circuit Court on Feb 5, according to online court records. Brown is set to appear in Petersburg Circuit Court on Jan. 14 and Hopewell Circuit Court on Jan 22. Harris is also set to appear in Petersburg Circuit Court on Jan. 14.