NORFOLK, Va. – Jermaine Antoine Tucker, a 36-year-old Virginia Beach man, was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court on Friday, April 29, 2022, to serve 26 years in prison for murdering 46-year-old Thomas Lyn Christian Jr. by shooting into Mr. Christian’s vehicle as he was driving away from Truth Soul Food restaurant.
Around 10 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2019, Mr. Christian and Mr. Tucker were having an argument outside of the Truth Soul Food restaurant at 5018 E. Princess Anne Rd. in Norfolk. According to witnesses, Mr. Tucker was angered with Mr. Christian for talking to Mr. Tucker’s wife. Video surveillance at the restaurant showed Mr. Christian arguing with Mr. Tucker and a friend of Mr. Christian’s intervening and walking Mr. Christian to his vehicle. After Mr. Christian’s friend resumed confronting Mr. Tucker, Mr. Christian approached Mr. Tucker again and pointed a handgun at Mr. Tucker. Mr. Christian’s friend once again attempted to deescalate the situation by stepping between the two, walking Mr. Christian back to his vehicle and telling Mr. Christian to go home.
When Mr. Christian pulled out of his parking space and started toward the parking lot exit, Mr. Tucker grabbed a handgun out of his vehicle and fired several rounds into Mr. Christian’s car, which continued rolling across East Princess Anne Road toward a nearby apartment building before coming to a stop. One of the bullets struck Mr. Christian behind his left ear and he was pronounced dead by medics at the scene. Mr. Tucker was located and arrested by the Norfolk Police Fugitive Squad the following night.
On Nov. 10, 2021, a jury of Mr. Tucker’s peers found Mr. Tucker guilty of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder. On Friday, Judge Tasha D. Scott sentenced Mr. Tucker to 40 years in prison with 17 years suspended for the charge of second-degree murder. The use of a firearm in the commission of murder carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison, bringing Mr. Tucker’s total active prison time to 26 years. Mr. Tucker’s sentence is conditioned upon 20 years of uniform good behavior, an indeterminate term of supervised probation, and no contact with eyewitnesses or the victim’s family.
Mr. Tucker, known to be a Bounty Hunter Blood gang member, has a criminal history including a 2005 conviction for armed robbery.
“We see this too often: The presence of a gun turned an argument into a murder,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “No matter who started this argument or what happened during the argument, when Mr. Christian did the right thing and chose to leave, the argument was over. Mr. Tucker bears the blame for picking up a gun and murdering Mr. Christian. We have held Mr. Tucker accountable; he will serve 26 years in prison. But had Mr. Tucker done the right thing that night, he would be a free man, and Mr. Christian would be alive today. My heart goes out to Mr. Christian’s family on their terrible loss.”
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William S. Maydosz led the prosecution of Mr. Tucker’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth.