A guilty plea today – and an eight-year prison sentence – for a Lynchburg robbery in 2017 that turned fatal. One of the would-be robbers, Dedric Megginson was killed in the gunfire inside a Dearing Street home. Today, Darrell Saunders, Jr. pleaded guilty to his role in the botched robbery. Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison says the plea agreement was reached at the insistence of victims in the case.
From Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison: On August 15, 2019, Darrell Jermaine Saunders, Jr. pleaded guilty to Burglary,Attempted Robbery, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of aFirearm by a Violent Felon. The defendant received a total sentence of 28 years with 20 yearssuspended pursuant to a plea agreement. The plea agreement was reached at the insistence of the victims of the case who did not want to relive the traumatic events of May 15, 2017 and become the targets of negative attention.
Around 9:30 p.m. on May 15, 2017, Saunders and his friend Dedric Megginson went to the back door of a home in the 800 block of Dearing St. in Lynchburg, Virginia. Saunders knocked on the back door of the home which was answered by the victim. Saunders was known to the victim and asked the victim to retrieve a phone number for him. As the victim looked down to get his phone from his pocket, Saunders , who was still standing in the doorway, pushed the victim further into the home. Saunders called out for Dedric Megginson to enter the home where both men assaulted the victim and reached into the victim’s pockets. The victim had a handgun in his waistband which he retrieved and fired at his attackers. Saunders was shot through the lower torso and fell to the ground. Megginson overpowered the victim, took the victim’s gun, then hit the victim in the head with the gun. At this time, another adult male in the home came downstairs where he saw Saunders on the ground and on top of the victim. Megginson was in the process of standing up with a gun pointed at the adult male. The adult male fired three shots at Megginson. Megginson ran out of the back door of the home.
When Lynchburg Police Department officers arrived at the home, they found Megginson in the backyard unresponsive with gunshot wounds to his head and chest. A silver .22 caliber handgun was found near Megginson in the backyard. The victim’s handgun was found on the ground a short distance away from Megginson in the backyard. Megginson died from his injuries.
Darrell Saunders, Jr. was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound. While at the hospital, he told detectives that he went to the home to pick up marijuana from the victim. He claimed as he attempted to smell the marijuana the victim shot him. At that time Megginson came into the home and was also shot. Saunders admitted that the .22 caliber gun was his. He brought it to the house but believed he left it in an alley or the backyard. He said he told Megginson to stand around the corner to wait as Saunders went to the back of the house as he knew it would be bad and he could get shot.
This case was prosecuted by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison. The defense attorney for Darrell Saunders, Jr. was E. Gordon Peters, Jr.