Suspect in West End murder indicted

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Suspect in West End murder indicted
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Tavon Lanier, 20, of Alexandria, was indicted for five felonies, including the murder of Alexandria resident John Pope, 57, in the West End last year, which carries a maximum sentence of life, plus 13 years.

After police responded to a report of a possible shooting in the 5900 block of Quantrell Avenue in the West End last September, officers found Pope shot in his home. Pope was transported to a local hospital where he died. Police arrested Lanier on Oct. 4, 2020 as a suspect in Pope’s murder.

Lanier was indicted on five counts: first degree murder; use of a firearm in the commission of murder; robbery; use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery; and illegal possession of a firearm. According to a statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter, the first-degree murder and robbery charges are both punishable by life in prison, while the two firearm charges carry a maximum eight-year penalty and the possession of a firearm charge carries a maximum five-year sentence.

There is currently no date set for the trial.

Lanier was previously arrested on Sept. 22, 2020 for allegedly breaking into his girlfriend’s apartment as well as stalking and threatening her, according to court documents. He was released on bond eight days prior to Pope’s murder.

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