NORFOLK, Va. – Raphael Jamal Cuffee, a 30-year-old Norfolk man, was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, to 18 active years in prison for shooting and killing 35-year-old Michael Carnell Perry in 2020.
On Oct. 10, 2020, Mr. Cuffee met with Mr. Perry, with whom he was acquainted, on the 3100 block of Chesapeake Boulevard. The men spoke about a disagreement from their vehicles, parked facing different directions so their driver’s side windows were lined up with one another. Mr. Cuffee, in a Nissan, then shot into Mr. Perry’s vehicle, a Mercedes Benz, before pulling off. Mr. Perry was shot in the chest, left arm and left hand, and his vehicle rolled several feet before crashing into another vehicle. Witnesses attempted to help Mr. Perry, but he suffered a tear to his aorta as well as a collapsed lung and died shortly after being transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The two men had allegedly met to split the proceeds of a robbery they had allegedly committed together earlier.
Norfolk Police located Mr. Cuffee driving his Nissan four days later with a .45 caliber handgun in his possession. Mr. Cuffee confessed to shooting Mr. Perry after claiming to have been fearful of him, despite not seeing whether Mr. Perry had a weapon at the time. Mr. Perry was not armed, nor was any weapon found in the Mercedes Benz. Mr. Cuffee also admitted to having another individual clean his car and dispose of the murder weapon.
Mr. Cuffee pleaded guilty on Aug. 23, 2022, to second-degree murder, the use of a firearm in the commission of murder, and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted violent felon.
On Friday, Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. sentenced Mr. Cuffee to serve 18 active years in prison. The details of Mr. Cuffee’s sentence include: 10 years in prison for second-degree murder, three years for the use of a firearm in the commission of murder, and five years for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted violent felon. Upon his release from prison, Mr. Cuffee will have three years of post-release supervision.
“My condolences go to the family of Michael Perry, and my appreciation goes out to the witnesses who came forward and enabled the police to make a prompt arrest and enabled us to secure a guilty plea from the defendant,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “When we all work together — citizens, police, and prosecutors — to hold accountable the people who commit violent crimes, we make for a better and safer Norfolk.”
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Gordon C. Ufkes led the prosecution of Mr. Cuffee’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Please contact Nia Tariq at 757-620-5454 for more information.