Killer convicted of homeless man’s murder

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk jury convicted the accused killer of a homeless man Thursday.

After a trial that began Tuesday, 22-year-old Steven Lamonte Reid was convicted of first degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and conspiracy, according to Amanda Howie with the Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney.

The charges are connected to the murder of 53-year-old Illinois D. Johnson, a homeless man, on December 10, 2012. Howie said Johnson was sleeping on the front steps of First Baptist Church of Norfolk on East Bute Street when he was shot in the head and killed around 6 a.m.

“It’s normally a rather safe area Downtown, not as people might think. It’s just unfortunate it happened,” the church’s pastor, Dr. Robert Murray, told the day Johnson’s body was discovered.

Reid’s co-defendant in the murder case is 20-year-old Demonte K. Durham, who pleaded guilty to first degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony on September 26, 2013.

On Thursday, the jury also recommended Reid serve 61 years in prison. He will receive his official sentence on June 6. Durham will be sentenced on March 21.

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