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Friday, 26 November 2010

Portsmouth drug kingpin sentenced to life


17:09 | , , ,

Portsmouth drug kingpin sentenced to life: "More than ten years after his original trial, Richard Thomas Stitt, 37, formerly of Portsmouth, was sentenced Tuesday in Norfolk federal court to serve five life sentences, plus a term of 65 years, for his role in three murders and in running a violent street gang that distributed crack cocaine in Portsmouth between 1991 and 1998.
According to court records, in October of 1998, following a five and one-half week trial, a jury found Stitt guilty of numerous federal crimes including three murders, drug trafficking and firearms charges. Specifically, the jury convicted Stitt of ordering the murders of two underlings and a member of a rival drug gang, in order to eliminate witnesses and maintain control of the crack trade in Portsmouth.
In November of 1998, after a penalty hearing, the jury sentenced Stitt to death for each of the murders.
In May of 2001, Stitt’s conviction and sentence was upheld on direct appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond. but in April of 2005, United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson overturned Stitt's death sentences, ruling that Stitt's right to effective assistance of counsel had been violated at the 1998 sentencing due to his attorney's conflict of interest."


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