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Commonwealth's Attorney News Releases

Posted on: February 10, 2023

Commonwealth v. Rashad D. Dooley

NORFOLK, Va. – On Friday, a Norfolk Circuit Court judge sentenced 30-year-old Rashad Detwan Dooley to 25 active years in prison for his role in the murder plot against ODU student Christopher Cummings.

A Norfolk jury convicted Mr. Dooley on Sept. 13, 2022, of conspiring to commit first-degree murder, conspiring to commit robbery, and conspiring to commit burglary. Mr. Dooley’s roles in those crimes led to the death of Christopher Cummings and the serious wounding of Mr. Cummings’s roommate.

Today, Judge Michelle J. Atkins sentenced Mr. Dooley to serve 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder; 10 years for conspiracy to commit robbery; and 10 years, with five suspended, for conspiracy to commit burglary. Mr. Dooley’s suspended sentence is conditioned upon five years of supervised probation and 10 years of uniform good behavior upon his release from prison, drug screenings and treatment, and no contact with the Cummings family.

In imposing a sentence significantly above the advisory sentencing guidelines, Judge Atkins cited the seriousness of this crime and Mr. Dooley’s extensive criminal history.

"I cannot imagine the pain the Cummings family and the surviving victim have felt in the decade since this terrible crime," said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. "This was a tough case from the beginning. We in Norfolk do not shy away from trying the tough ones, and in this case we prevailed. I am proud of our trial team’s work and the work of the Norfolk Police in bringing Mr. Dooley to justice. I hope that the verdict and sentence help bring the Cummings family and the surviving victim a measure of closure as they continue to grieve and to heal. I will keep them in my thoughts."

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Cynthia D. Collard and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Madeline C. Woodruff and Abigail L. Ottinger prosecuted Mr. Dooley’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Please contact Nia Tariq at 757-620-5454 or for more information.


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