New Kent pot grower to serve 5 years in prison

NEW KENT — A Lanexa marijuana grower who is believed to have shot and killed a Bruton High School student during a failed home invasion attempt will serve five years for convictions not directly related to the shooting.

John Steven Carter, 58, was sentenced Wednesday in New Kent County Circuit Court on six felony convictions. For manufacturing marijuana and possessing between a 1/2 ounce and five pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute, retired Judge Thomas Nance gave Carter a five year prison sentence with three years suspended on each of the two charges. Carter also received a two year sentence with one year suspended on a conviction for forging public records and he received a two year suspended sentence for each of three additional forgery-related charges.

Carter’s marijuana charges stemmed from a sophisticated grow operation that was discovered by his landlord at his ramshackle rental house several days after 18-year-old Christopher Greene was fatally shot in October, 2008.

According to court testimony, Greene and two classmates went to the Pocahontas Trail residence to rob Carter of marijuana and guns. Someone inside the house shot Greene in the chest as he kicked in a door while wielding a shotgun. Greene’s body was found by police under a tarp in the backyard the next morning. Carter was gone by then and wouldn’t be caught for more than a year. In the months after the shooting, five 18-year-old men with ties to Bruton High School were tried and convicted of charges related to the robbery attempt.

Carter was a federal fugitive from Florida during his time in New Kent and lived under a false identity. The New Kent forgery and uttering charges were related to his use of the false identity during a traffic stop several years ago.

In all, Carter has five years of active jail time to serve in New Kent County once he completes a 10-year federal sentence for growing marijuana. Carter was not prosecuted for shooting Greene and charges of illegally disposing of a dead body and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon were dismissed in court.

At the sentencing hearing, Carter’s attorney Timothy Clancy rattled off a list of his client’s medical ailments while arguing for suspended sentences.

“If he makes it to the end of his federal term, well, God bless him,” Clancy said.

via : WTKR

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