Charges certified against suspects in double murder, officer-involved shooting

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News judge certified charges against two men accused in a double murder and officer-involved shooting that happened in January.

Laratio Lorenzo Dantzler is facing charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Murder charges against the second suspect, Stephen Lorenzo Hayes, were nolle prossed (or withdrawn) on Monday. The charges could potentially be brought back as authorities are still investigating. Hayes’ attorney said video that was played in court at a hearing Monday showed that his client left before shots were fired.

The judge certified charges of attempted robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony against Hayes.

Police chief discusses timeline of Newport News officer-involved shooting

Officers were responding to reports of a car crash at 14th and Wickham Avenue on Jan. 15, when a caller reported that there were men with guns.

Stephen Lorenzo Hayes (Photo courtesy: Newport News police)
Stephen Lorenzo Hayes (Photo courtesy: Newport News police)
Laratio Lorenzo Dantzler. Photo Courtesy: Newport News Sheriff's Office
Laratio Lorenzo Dantzler. Photo Courtesy: Newport News Sheriff’s Office

The caller also reported that there had been a shooting.

The officers found Cadre Antwoine Grey, 38, and Quinton Antonio Kelly, 30, dead inside of a van that had crashed into a parked truck.

A man who identified himself as the driver of the van testified at the hearing Monday. He said Dantzler and Hayes tried to rob him. After Dantzler hit him on the head with a gun, he crashed the van and ran away out of fear for his life. “I was just talking to the Lord,” he testified.

He said he saw the suspects go through the pockets of Grey and Kelly before hearing gunshots. He also said he could not forget the suspects’ faces.

Another man, who said he was a private investigator, testified that he happened to be nearby in his surveillance vehicle and started recording video after the crash. He then stayed on the phone with 911 until police arrived.

Police said a sergeant located two suspects, who later turned out to be Dantzler and Hayes, who had fled from the scene.

A 19-year veteran officer shot Dantzler after he had refused to comply with her orders to drop his weapon, police said. Dantzler was taken to the hospital with a minor injury and was charged upon his release.

Photos: Officer-involved shooting in Newport News

The second suspect had left the scene in a different direction. Hayes turned himself into authorities one month later.

The case moves to circuit court in June.

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