NORFOLK, Va. – Rahquan Lavon Matthews, 20, was sentenced Friday to 15 active years in prison for robbing a Dollar Tree cashier at gunpoint earlier this year.
On the afternoon of March 29, 2022, Mr. Matthews visited the Dollar Tree near the intersection of Tidewater Drive and Lafayette Boulevard and picked out a few items, including a can of potato crisps. As a cashier rang him up, Mr. Matthews, who was wearing a gaiter-style mask, pulled out a handgun and told the cashier to open the register drawer. Mr. Matthews told the cashier that he would kill her if she did not do as he said. He then went behind the check-out counter, grabbed cash out of the drawer, left the store, and drove off, leaving behind the potato-chip can he had picked up prior to robbing the clerk.
Norfolk Police investigators were able to lift fingerprints from the potato-chip can and match them to Mr. Matthews through a federal fingerprint database. Norfolk Police charged Mr. Matthews with armed robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of robbery, and Chesapeake Police officers arrested Mr. Matthews one month later on those warrants. Fingerprints from Mr. Matthews on the night of his arrest confirmed the match to the potato-chip can.
On Sept. 20, 2022, a Norfolk jury found Mr. Matthews guilty of armed robbery, wearing a mask while committing the robbery, and the use of a firearm in the commission of the robbery.
On Friday, Judge John R. Doyle, III, sentenced Mr. Matthews to serve 15 active years in prison. The details of Mr. Matthews’ sentence include 15 years, with four years suspended, for armed robbery; one year for wearing a mask while committing the robbery; and three years for the use of a firearm. Mr. Matthews’ suspended sentences are conditioned upon three years of supervised probation upon his release from prison.
Mr. Matthews has a juvenile criminal history that includes a larceny conviction, and he was on probation from a 2021 home burglary conviction at the time of the Dollar Tree robbery.
“Today we held Mr. Matthews accountable for robbing a working person at gunpoint and threatening to kill her, all for a few dollars,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “My heart goes out to the victim, who came to work to do her job and suffered this trauma. The Norfolk Police secured us the evidence we needed to secure a conviction. We appreciate the work the jury did. I hope that Mr. Matthews, a young man, uses his time in prison to better himself and be ready to rejoin the community constructively at the end of his term. We continue to focus our efforts on holding accountable the perpetrators of gun violence.”
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys A. Robinson Winn and Jessica L. Terkovich prosecuted Mr. Matthews’ case on behalf of the Commonwealth.