Maury student charged in shooting, named prom king
On May 23, a Maury High School senior partied with his classmates at the Half Moon Cruise and Celebration Center and was thrilled when they voted him prom king.
The day before, he had been confined in the City Jail. The senior spent a week in jail after being arrested in connection with a shooting of a teenager that police believe was gang-related. Police charged the student, who is 18, and three others with more than two dozen felonies. His attorney says he is innocent.
The high school student’s future football career is now in jeopardy. Norfolk State University says a football scholarship they gave him is on hold.
But it’s likely that the student will get to attend at least one more special high school event: his graduation.
That’s because Norfolk’s conduct policy says that students with felony charges may be allowed to return to school and attend activities such as prom. Students also can graduate as long as they are eligible.
Maury’s PTA president, said the policy needs to be reviewed. She was shocked to learn that the student was allowed to return to school, given the allegations of gang activity.
Norfolk School Board Chairman said on Friday he understands parents’ concerns about safety and plans to recommend that the board review the division’s conduct policy.
A school spokeswoman, said safety is a top priority when administrators review cases in which students are charged or convicted of felonies. Four school security officers and four off-duty, uniformed Norfolk police officers attended the prom, she said.
According to court documents, the student was arrested May 15 in connection with a drive-by shooting of a teenager in the 2400 block of Lafayette Blvd.
On May 14, the student was allegedly driving a Buick Century with three other teens and a 3-year-old child when a man inside fired toward a house about 6 p.m. A teenager who was not the intended target was hospitalized, according to police and court records.
Police stopped the Buick, seized weapons and arrested four suspects from the vehicle.
The Maury high school student was charged with two counts of malicious wounding, six counts of attempted malicious wounding, six counts of felonious use of a firearm, gang participation, child endangerment and conspiracy to commit malicious wounding, according to court records.
Chief Judge of Norfolk General District Court granted the student a $25,000 bond May 22.
Andy Protogyrou, the student’s attorney and also a Norfolk City Council member, said he asked Norfolk School Board Chairman, as the student’s pastor, as well as the teenager’s mother, brother and two of his Maury coaches to attend the hearing.
Protogyrou said he has “very favorable evidence in defense of the charges.” His client never had a weapon, and although he was driving the car, “when he saw a weapon, he tried to get it from the shooter’s hand,” Protogyrou said Friday. “And there’s also evidence that he may have been threatened himself.”
Court documents state that a co-defendant is a enrolled as a student at Granby High. A magistrate noted that, “Rivalry still exists between the 2 gangs, also the target of the shooting wasn’t shot.”
Protogyrou said the student attended his prom with an adult male family member.
Maury’s PTA president said school officials should consider alternative school placements until students with criminal charges have had their cases resolved in court.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled forJune 30.
A former Norfolk teacher and president of the Middle Towne Arch at Broad Creek civic league, said he has known Protogyrou’s client and his mother for years. “He’s a very kindhearted person,” he said. “He’s always willing to do favors and stuff. I think he just made a mistake. He was doing a favor for the wrong folks.”
An assistant athletic director at Norfolk State, said the Maury student’s scholarship offer “is on hold pending the judicial process.” NSU plans to “wait and see how it plays out,” he said.
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