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Posted on: March 18, 2022

Commonwealth v. Edgar E. Oliver Sentencing

NORFOLK, Va. – Edgar Emmanuel Oliver, 64, was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court on Friday, March 18, 2022, to 30 years in prison for the 2019 stabbing death of 64-year-old Arthur Daniel Sanders Jr. who, according to the defendant who at the time was houseless, was attempting to give him money.

On the afternoon of Oct. 17, 2019, Mr. Oliver was sleeping near the Shop `N Go convenience store at 1722 Church St. when, according to Mr. Oliver’s statement to the Norfolk Police, Mr. Sanders approached him, took dollar bills from his pocket, and offered them to Mr. Oliver. Mr. Oliver — who admitted that he had been taking medication for a mental illness and said that Mr. Sanders had not touched him — started to fight with Mr. Sanders and stabbed him seven times, with one wound fatally cutting Mr. Sanders’s carotid artery in his neck and causing him to bleed to death. Mr. Oliver then fled the scene and Mr. Sanders called for help before falling to the ground.

A Shop `N Go customer tried to help Mr. Sanders until medics arrived. Mr. Sanders was pronounced dead that afternoon at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

A witness called 911 and alerted the Norfolk Police Department to the direction in which Mr. Oliver fled. Officers found Mr. Oliver in the 700 block of 25th Street with red stains on his shoes. Mr. Oliver confessed to stabbing Mr. Sanders and said he “had to do it” because he was not sure of Mr. Sanders’ intentions.

Psychiatric professionals evaluated Mr. Oliver and determined that he was mentally ill but legally competent to stand trial.

“This is a tragic case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “A mentally ill man has murdered a Good Samaritan. We have secured justice for Mr. Sanders and his family, and we have protected the community from further violence by the perpetrator, but we must ask ourselves how we got here. If we want to avoid further tragedies like this one, we must address the crisis in mental-health treatment to ensure that the mentally ill are cared for and that Good Samaritans may live.”

Mr. Oliver, whose criminal history includes convictions for multiple larcenies, arson as well as assault and battery, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Mr. Sanders in September 2021. Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Tasha D. Scott sentenced Mr. Oliver on Friday to 40 years in prison, suspending another 10 years on the conditions of uniform good behavior and completion of an indeterminate period of supervised probation.

Norfolk Police Investigators F. J. St. George and J. C. Noel as well as retired Investigator W. K. Cogswell investigated Mr. Oliver’s case. Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William S. Maydosz prosecuted the sentencing on behalf of the Commonwealth. Please contact Nia Tariq at 757-620-5454 for more information.

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