Man Sentenced to More Than 25 Years Following Jury Conviction for 2022 Murder
NORFOLK, Va. – Lamont Sean Smallwood, 34, was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court today to 25 years and nine months in prison following his jury conviction earlier this year, and subsequent probation violations, for the second-degree murder of 26-year-old Paul Lawrence Robinson.
On the night of May 29, 2022, Mr. Smallwood encountered Mr. Robinson in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 700 block of B Avenue. The two men spoke with one another and numerous witnesses outside the building before Mr. Smallwood pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at Mr. Robinson. Mr. Smallwood proceeded to take Mr. Robinson’s gun, knock him to the ground, beat him, and order him to strip down to his underwear. Mr. Smallwood then shot Mr. Robinson in his neck and shoulder before driving off, leaving him to bleed to death.
High-resolution video footage showed nearly the whole incident clearly enough for Norfolk Police to identify Mr. Smallwood and the vehicle in which he drove off. The police were also able to recover Mr. Smallwood’s fingerprint from the scene. No eyewitnesses came forward. One key witness, who was not present at the crime scene, identified Mr. Smallwood at trial from the video and the car he was driving.
On March 16, a Norfolk jury convicted Mr. Smallwood as charged of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder.
On Friday, Judge Robert B. Rigney sentenced Mr. Smallwood to an active term of 20 years and nine months in prison for murder, and five years in prison for the use of a firearm in the commission of murder. That sentence will run consecutive to an active term of 24 years in prison that Judge Tasha D. Scott imposed on Mr. Smallwood on July 31 for violating his probation by committing this murder. Mr. Smallwood’s total active prison sentence is 49 years and nine months.
“Smart police work, high-quality cameras, and the crucial cooperation of a witness came together to hold Lamont Smallwood accountable for this terrible murder,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Mr. Smallwood will serve a long sentence, but that sentence reflects the senselessness of his crime and his prior violent history. I give my condolences to Mr. Robinson’s family and my appreciation to the witness who came forward to help us prove our case in court. We could not have done it without them. The system works when we work together.”
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Emily A. Woodley prosecuted Mr. Smallwood’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth, and Norfolk Police Detective Kyle D. Austin led the investigation.