Man admits killing stepdaughter’s boyfriend

Ernest Steven Croft (Photo by VBPD)
Ernest Steven Croft (Photo by VBPD)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth man admitted on Monday to killing his stepdaughter’s boyfriend last year.

Ernest Steven Croft, 58, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and use of a firearm before Circuit Court Judge Stephen Mahan, according to Macie Pridgen with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia Beach. Judge Mahan accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Croft to 25 years in the Department of Corrections for the murder of John Gancarz of Virginia Beach.

Pridgen said the Commonwealth’s evidence proves that on August 30, Croft went to the Gancarz’s Virginia Beach home in the early morning and waited outside for him to return from work. When Gancarz arrived, Croft shot him multiple times, Pridgen said.

When police arrived, they found the victim dead in the front yard.

“While officers were securing the scene, Croft approached one of them and admitted to shooting Mr. Gancarz,” Pridgen said.

Croft claimed he shot Gancarz in self-defense, but evidence proved otherwise. Pridgen said the shooting was unprovoked.

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