Photo: LPD

A Lynchburg man will serve 30 years in prison after pleading guilty today to a shooting death in April of last year. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison says Rodney Spinner II admits killing Jamale Pannell in the area of 6th and Harrison Streets. Evidence that prosecutors were prepared to present to indicates the fatal shooting followed a pre-arranged $600 drug deal.

NEWS RELEASE from the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office: On August 9, 2019, Rodney O’Shawn Spinner, II entered guilty pleas to the charges of First Degree Murder of Jamale Deshawn Pannell and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Murder. Spinner was sentenced in accordance with a plea agreement to 60 years with 33 years suspended on the charge of First-Degree Murder and on the charge of Use of a Firearm, 3 years of mandatory minimum time. His total sentence was 63 years with 33 years suspended leaving 30 years to serve in the penitentiary. In exchange for Spinner’s guilty pleas, the Commonwealth agreed to move to nolle prosequi charges of Robbery of Pannell and the Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Robbery.

The charges stemmed from the events of April 9, 2018 when Lynchburg Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Harrison and Sixth Streets. They found Jamale Pannell unresponsive and discovered had been shot in the back, torso, and head a total of five times. Mr. Pannell was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness reported seeing an African-American man stand over the prone body of Pannell with a gun and shoot him. A second witness heard the shots and saw a young African-American man in black carrying a backpack run from the scene. With the aid of a L ynchburg Police Department K-9, Spinner was tracked and found two blocks away hiding under a stairway. Near to Spinner’s location, a backpack was discovered with a loaded forty caliber pistol, marijuana , and $600 in cash inside.
Text messages recovered from Pannell and Spinner’s phones showed that the defendant contacted Pannell to arrange the place and time to meet for a drug deal. Spinner
was to sell marijuana to Pannell for $600. The agreed upon location to meet was where Jamale Pannell’s body was found. Shell casings and bullets recovered from the murder scene and from Pannell’s body were determined to have been fired from the pistol found in Spinner’s backpack. Spinner had gunshot residue on both of his hands which was consistent with having recently fired a gun.