Suspect in Norfolk teen’s shooting death pleads guilty

Suspect: Lamontraye D. McAdams Courtesy Norfolk Sheriff's Office

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk teenager pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to charges in the shooting death of 18-year-old Nateria S. Powell.

Nateria Powell (Courtesy photo)

Lamontraye D. McAdams was taken into custody by police shortly after the May 2017 shooting.

“This entire case is a tragedy,” said McAdams’ attorney Trevor Robinson.

May 21, rescue crews rushed out to her apartment on Lead Street.  When they arrived they found her in her own bed.  She died at the hospital.  Prosecutors say that Powell was shot in the eye.  Her comforter had a bullet hole as if she was hiding behind it.

Eight hours later the person who pulled the trigger, 20-year-old Lamontraye McAdams, turned himself into police.

“Lamontraye is a young man who comes from a great family,” Robinson added.  “He is very well cared for, very loved and very popular.”

McAdams was initally charged with second-degree murder.  He claimed from the beginning the shooting was an accident.  Witnesses say as McAdams came running out of Powell’s room after the shooting he said he killed her, but he didn’t mean to do it.

The Commonwealth says the indictment was amended from second-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. McAdams pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday, along with charges of obstruction of justice and reckless handling of a firearm. He faces 16 years in prison.

“My client has made a well-informed decision about what he wants to do,” Robinson said.  “He has had plenty of time to consult with his family and that is the decision he made.  It’s difficult for everyone.  We have a family who lost a family member and now we have the McAdams family stands to lose their son.”

A sentencing hearing is set for May 4.